Representing the local music scene, 2 Hours of the very best music from Cambridge and the surrounding area. Live sessions, brand new music and the most talented local musicians that we can find. Show some love for Cambridge music!
Hello everybody and welcome to the new-look Cam FM Breakthrough - back under old management! My name is Sandy, former Head of Music and one of the original two presenters of the show from way back in 2007/2008, and it is so good to be back on the airwaves representing the best unsigned and small label artists.
The biggest change to the show is that we are going local. More local bands and artists, more focus on the gigs going on in and around Cambrigde and hopefully more interviews and live sessions from the soon to be kings and queens of the Cambridge scene. Check back here every week for tracklists, links to the artists and any extra goodies that we can bring your way!
REVIEW: '_Arc_' by Everything Everything
21 Jan 2013 18:00 | By: Siana Bangura
In an age when music is no longer an art exclusively practiced by the talented wordsmiths and players amongst us, listening to an album from beginning to end is rarely a profound experience. However, just as the Bodhi tree enlightened Siddhartha Gautama, the sophomore album from the four Mancunian Messiahs of Math-Rock and Synth pop provides a similar experience for music enthusiasts. Everything Everythings _Arc_ is a dark, ethereal, layered and angst-filled collection of tracks, which are just as eclectic and vibrant as the bands debut, but harder, more mature, and more focused in execution.
Not for the faint of heart but for those that really pay attention to lyrical content, powerful drums, soaring falsettos, spats, off-beats, and the sounds of Africa and the Orient serve as the vessel through which Everything Everything tell us the story of our impending apocalypse. A keen ear will hear a myriad of influences, particularly Radiohead, Elbow, Coldplay and even a sprinkle of Vampire Weekend. Piano-backed balladry is blended with a firm anchor in the bands electro-pop roots. Although melancholy runs throughout the record, the narration is rarely sombre.
Tracks such as Kemosabe a Native American term of endearment - and the raucous Cough Cough unapologetically appeal to dancing feet. Echoing melodies take the listener on a journey through echoing caves, the sublime and the truly beautiful. One will find less anarchy in _Arc_ than in Man Alive, but the drama and intensity is just as great, if not more so. It seems that this time round there is a strong sense of feeling, accompanied by the fear of progress (ironic for a band so forward thinking and progressive with their sound). Political statements about the environment, the media, consumerism and much more sit ethereally on quirky melodies and familiar Everything Everything rhythms. Extraordinarily, with so much going on sonically, there is not one filler track and Higgs vocals play against the macho posturing of his contemporaries and showcase vulnerability and earnestness.
My friends, I challenge you to not feel changed after this rather extraordinary listening experience. Just as Noahs arc was the saviour of mankind, perhaps, for those that get this band, _Arc_ denotes the saviour of popular music.
Stand out Tracks: Kemosabe; Torso of the Week; Armourland; Radiant; and The Peaks.
Ratings out of 5 stars: 4/5 stars.
By Siana Bangura.
Benjamin Francis Leftwich at The Junction!
26 Oct 2012 04:48 | By: Siana Bangura
Nick Cordingly braved the cold and spent an evening at the Junction, enjoying the dulcet tones of the wonderful Benjamin Francis Leftwich on Thursday 18th October 2012. Here is what he had to say:
As I entered a mostly full Junction of Thursday night I
observed that, among my fellow audience members who had to see Benjamin Francis
Leftwich play, the preferred jean was skinny, the preferred shirt checked and
the preferred jumper violently patterned.
I liked this audience. They seemed sensitive and interesting. And they
were very good at knowing what to do cheering in the right places, but
keeping respectfully silent during the quiet bits too.
However, dear reader, I cannot lie and say that I didnt go
to this concert without a little trepidation.
Considering the last gig Id been to at the Junction was to see Azealia
Banks the week before, where I left absolutely buzzing having jumped up and
down and screamed along to 212 until I was drenched, the prospect of an
evening of that often tricky genre folk felt like it could be a little
twee, or perhaps even dull. And when I
was greeted upon entering by the first warm-up act Joe Janiak announcing a song
was about having a long-distance relationship. And how hard that is I was hardly reassured. However, Janiak warmed up towards the end of
his set, with his final song High Street a bit more melodically driving than
his previous fare.
His successor Marika Hackman was even better. I think it reflects more badly on the music
industry as a whole than on me that I simply find the sight of a woman holding
an electric guitar exciting because it is so relatively unusual. She took us through a delightfully mournful
set, the highlight being her most well-known song Mountain Spines and her
comment that when told she should smile more that she would look rather demonic
given the generally morose tone of her songs.
And then onto the main event Mr Leftwich himself. Hes a
relatively unassuming looking guy, dressed in simple t-shirt and jeans. His set
was interestingly varied, beginning with his most recent single Pictures,
just him and his guitar, then his 3 man band trooped on and he launched into
the meat of his set with Butterfly Culture and Stole you Away two
highlights, the latter with an almost Pink Floyd-esque guitar line. We were treated to a track off his upcoming
album, Manchester Snow, about a a girl I had sex with 23 times in one week
which was both relatively funny in its ribaldry and actually quite sweet. The highlight undoubtedly however was when he
went fully acoustic and I really mean that.
The Junction is an intimate enough venue that Leftwich was able to
unplug his guitar, turn off his microphone and just sing. Without the usual echo that is placed on most
of his tracks you can really hear how husky and emotional his voice is,
something shown to perfection in the very last track of the night, a
performance of Atlas Hands where he got the whole audience to quietly sing
along to the chorus, which really was a beautiful moment, echoing the feeling
of singing around a campfire. It sent
all possible concerns about the night straight out of my head.
His in-between song chat was also good, revealing at one
point I fucking love cats, namechecking his band, which I always think is
nice, and revealing that when doing encores he feels like a magic lizard
coming out of a cave. Sure Benjamin, sure.
New Music Reviews: By Matt Cooke.
27 Jun 2012 23:36 | By: Siana Bangura
Hello CamFM Breakthrough fans,
Once again we've gone a bit quiet. Easter term has been full of exams and May ball Planning (for balls which actually took place in June...O.o). There have been highs and lows, but we've been busy without fail. In fact, this weekend, our Chief of New Music had a stint at Radio 1, schmoozing with the heads of BBC Introducing and 1 Extra. More of that later, though...
We've also been busy building relationships with other local Musical outfits and now Breakthrough, Slate the Disco, and Under the Music Tree are joining forces... for the powers of good of course ;p
Here's a treat for you, courtesy of 17 year old Matt Cooke - the mastermind behind Under the Music Tree. Never heard of him/ them? Well, 'Under the Music Tree' is a blog focusing predominantly on the local Cambridge Music Scene.
Highlighting all of Cambridge's Musical assets, of which there are many, they feature local bands as well as touring bands, and keep out loyal audience up to date and in the loop at all times.
They've even nabbed sessions and interviews with bands like Stornoway and Bowling for Soup, to name but a few. Not bad huh?
Check out Matt's first reviews for the Breakthrough blog right here - we're thrilled to welcome him and 'Under The Music Tree' onboard the good ship Cam FM, and we're even more excited about the two bands of which he writes!
EP Review: Moho Mynoki's 'Orange Book'
In honour of the Peterhouse May Ball Cam FM and Under The
Music Tree have teamed up to give the new Moho Mynoki EP, Orange Book, a spin.
I took up the honours of reviewing it and with no idea of what I had in store,
I sat back and listened. I was greeted by first track Limited World. The tune
draws comparisons with Hot Chip and Metronomy, but female fronted and with a
slight dub-steppy vibe. Continental Patio feels quite House with an
alternative feel and harmonised vocals, it becomes a so very danceable
Getting steadily more electronic as the EP progresses
Playabout makes use of a funky synthesised bass line and flirtatious vocals.
Using classic dance production techniques it re-enforces the image in my mind
of Moho Mynoki rocking it in a club, or maybe even a ball! By the end of the
song I cant help but feel that theyll have to do very well to top this song,
as the melody is already engrained into my head, in a good way of course
Guyfriend starts off a lot more chilled out than the rest
of the EP has proven to be so far, all the synths have a much more down tempo
feel and the song focuses a lot more the lyrics and melody of the vocal line.
Which shows the band can clearly tell a story and that they have talents beyond
just making computers bleep.
The EP ends on my least favourite track, but by no means a
bad song, Beginnings. My only issue is that it follows too many of the
genres cliches however, its not executed badly so its not too much of a
problem. It just feels like a little bit of a filler track and doesnt live up
to the rest of the EPs standards.
Overall a funky, danceable, melodic, glitchy EP. Check it
Review by Matt Cooke.
Overall, it seems that Moho Mynoki's EP gets a solid thumbs up from Cam FM Breakthrough AND Under the Music Tree. Go and listen to it and see what all this hype is about! We promise you WILL NOT regret it!
Ps: Catch us on Twitter on @CamfmBreakthru and catch Under The Music Tree on
@UTMTcambridge and at underthemusictree.co.uk
Matt's Back! This time with Nevada Base.
27 Jun 2012 23:34 | By: Siana Bangura
Matt Cooke is back (yes, so soon) and this time he is reviewing some music by one of my favourite new music bands, Nevada Base.
Look them up. I've met the guys and they are so lovely! They are also from Glasgow - gotta love 'em!
New Music Review: Nevada Base
Again in collaboration with Cam FM, Under The Music Tree are
taking a look at New Tracks by Nevada Base, not really an official release or
an album/EP/single or any kind... Its more just the title I found Nevada
Bases new tracks under on Soundcloud. Still, music is music, lets give it a
A dark brooding synth and steady kick drum opens up
Elation with a Crystal Castle-style type melody coming in later, but the song
develops and when the drums properly come in any Crystal Castle comparisons
stop for the song is much more under control than any CC song. The song is
devoid of any lead vocals, but vocals samples populate the ambiance of the song
and its the kind of thing you can really lose yourself in. A top start as it
The next track Crisis features a more jumpy Metronomy feel
with Nevada Bases Scottish tones pouring over the top, with repetitive hook
every night brings another crisis. The track is catchy, with good pace and
offers a melodic dance track to the collection of songs weve stumbled upon.
Following this, An Avenue offers a relaxed piece with a noticeably groovy
bass line. Later on choppy synths enter the mix, pushing my mind towards
friendly fires, just without the mad percussion.
This nice collection of songs ends on a cover of t.A.T.u
All The Things She Said, which is just described as a synth jam. To commence, a
vocoder leads affairs before things develop into an indie darker experimental
Hot Chip and well, I like it. A lot more than the original and that has to be
So to conclude, if I were you, Id follow the link below and
see what Im talking about.
Review by Matt Cooke from Under The Music Tree, @MattCookes
Thanks Matt! As for you lot, go and look these guys up.
They are really something special: http://www.facebook.com/nevadabase
Jess Thristan 'Stepping Stone' EP Review.
27 Apr 2012 12:37 | By: Siana Bangura
They say that music has the power to change the world. Despite the trash that has taken over the mainstream in recent years, few would disagree with this statement, right? The musical revolution begins with that special relationship between a particular song and the individual listener. There is a song out there for every emotion, every situation, every person, and in an overwhelmingly saturated music market, few new artists will ever have what it takes to really stand out. So few have this power, that when you are fortunate enough to stumble upon an artist who does, youve got to remove yourself from the daily grind for a moment and really take in their offering. Almost a year ago, thanks to Twitter, I was privileged enough to stand to attention and discover the very talented, very hardworking, and very interesting Jess Thristan. Hailing from Halifax, and still at school, she taught herself the guitar, writes her own songs, and now has an EP. This is impressive, not unheard of, but impressive. What is even more impressive, is the maturity, rawness, the depth of Thristans lyrics, the purity of her voice, and how tirelessly she works to make sure people HEAR her music and know about her. None of this has gone unnoticed.
Stepping Stone, her rather poignantly entitled EP, is a beautiful collection of tracks. The simple chords and quiet harmonies allow for the true power of each lyric to shine through. A debut created with much love, time, and thought, its five tracks are like chapters of a personal journal. Each track is a part of the bigger tale of love and the hardships, frustrations, complications, and ups and downs that come with it. Thristans lyrics bleed the kind of wisdom that comes from decades of experience, pain, and observation except she is just sixteen.
In Too Late for that, she sings of regret and the pains of a love that was never to last. Back Home is another love song about the frustrations of not knowing where you stand with someone. The bedroom acoustics feel welcomes the listener into yet another personal story, as is the case with Insomnia. A journal is unlocked and we sit reading it with the person who wrote it, in their bedroom as the sun sets, smiling, silent, and still. Interestingly, the second half of insomnia is more upbeat, as the pained lady figures out her place for now.
The stand out track is track number four, The Shield. A truly remarkable and beautiful song I was actually taken aback by the force of the words. The chorus speaks of a girl who inhales the body of the person she has fallen deeply in love with, whilst she exhales her mistakes, remaining unprepared for the path her life followed. Eerie, sad, painful, and yet comforting, this is the song that will take Miss Thristan far. And this is what made her stand out from the crowd for me. Whilst the likes of Nicki Minaj are talking about stupid hoes and Starships, unsigned artists like Jess Thristan are pouring out their souls to their listeners in the most intimate, the most special, the most stunning way.
The final song on the EP is probably the most empowering and naturally ends the story weve been so privileged to hear. As our singer proclaims that she will no longer be the stepping stone, we the listener applaud her. Not loud, not bold, and not brash, be sure to file Thristan next to the likes of Nerina Pallot, Lianne la Havas, and Birdy. Id even go as far as to suggest that in lyrical talent and musical quality, rawness, and honesty, she is reminiscent of Adele.
If this first offering is anything to go by, we can safely conclude that Jess Thristan will take the music world by storm one day the future is bright and I am full of hope.
Be sure to check her out on Youtube, catch her on Twitter, and whilst youre at it, check out my new music show, Breakthrough on Cam FM. We promote unsigned and small label musicians, who have a thirst for the music industry and wish to break into it through sheer blood, sweat, and tears. Not with unbearable amounts of auto-tune. Follow me on Twitter and email email@example.com if you think youve got what it takes. If I like you, Ill play you out on the radio and do my best to spread the word!
If you have any musical related suggestions, feel free to tweet or message us.
For now though, One Love.
Battle of the Bands Results from LAST NIGHT!
27 Apr 2012 11:34 | By: Siana Bangura
The Winners of the third and FINAL heat were The Abstracts. Hey there!
So we at Breakthrough have been busy taking part in coverage for the Audio Music Technology (AMT) society's Battle of the Bands competition. After three heats at the Emperor pub, the grand finals went down last night at the ARU academy and I am proud to announce that the much-worthy CHAMPIONS are The Abstracts (winners of Heat three)!
A full round-up of the BotB competition will be up shortly, but in the meantime, read a little about them to whet your appetite:
They've been at it for a while and have switched up their line-up quite a bit - as is the story of many great bands - but the band have now settled and are a three-person outift from Cambridge.
Felix Morgan is on vocals and guitar; Ben Nunn is on bass guitar and backing vocals, and Mark Thomson is the god of the drums and percussion. They have a very wide range of musical influences, including The Libertines, Green day, and Led Zeppelin - and they've got the roaring guitar power to match it.
Utterly slick, talented and exciting, they've already had some raving reviews.
And Remember to follow us on Twitter: @camfmbreakthru AND 'Like' us on Facebook to keep up-to-date with all things new music!
One Love, yo.
The Blog is back and we're better than ever!
09 Mar 2012 11:39 | By: Siana Bangura
Hello Hello Hello!
We're deep into 2012 and the end of Lent Term is nearing. We've been busy here at Breakthrough and we have so much to update you on!
Firstly, Cam FM has moved studios for the first time in over thirty years! We are now live from St. John's College. Breakthrough is under new management - me, Siana Bangura - and has been for a while now. I've been working hard to build more relationships with wonderful musicians from the unsigned/ small music label world and we've got a stack of interviews lined up for next term!
We're also working in collaboration with ARU and have launched the AMT society's Battle of the Bands 2012. We've had the first heat and the winners of that round, Echo trails, are PHENOMENAL!
We've also changed the structure of the show a bit: We are now live every FRIDAY night for ONE hour, bringing you the very best in new and unsigned/ small label artists, a lovely little competition, our artist of the week, and the Breakthrough GIG GUIDE. We're also working with the Junction and other popular venues in Cambridge to ensure that we get the first scoop on all the best gigs going on in our lovely town.
Last night, weirdly and wonderfully enough, Tim (Head of Music) and I even went and hung out with Jerry Springer. Yes, you read correctly. A bit out of the remit of the show, yes, but did you know that Jerry was once in a Country and Western band? WOWZA!
So that' s what we've ben up to.
Remember to check us out on Facebook and 'like' our page: www.facebook.com/CamFMBreakthru
And find and follow us on Twitter: @camfmBreakthru
You can also contact me, your chief of new music on @Sianaarrgh or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
One Love. Two Love. More.
Listen to the debut LP from Esben & The Witch now!
29 Jan 2011 20:37 | By: Jason Cleeton
Violet Cries, the debut record from hotly tipped Brighton trio and perennial Breakthrough faves
Esben & The Witch comes out on Matador Records on Monday 31st, but
you can listen to it in full here. It's a bit of a stonker too;
hyped-british-band-in-actually-rather-good album shocker!