Alphabet Backwards – The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP


British quintet Alphabet Backwards completed their aim to write and record three separate releases in a year without the need of studios or labels with the recent unveiling of The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP. Containing three songs bubbling with the warm and melodically flirtatious sound that the band is becoming increasing renowned for, the release is a fine end to an aim and success which has provided a host of rather irresistible feel good songs.

Consisting of Josh, Steph, Paul, Bob Tom, and James, the Oxford bred Alphabet Backwards have been luring closer and stronger attention for quite some time now, making their first potent mark with a self-titled debut EP in 2009. The trio of EPs, The Superhero in 2010 with The White Russian and British Explorer following the next year, raised the momentum and praise cast the way of the band’s emergence with debut album Little Victories in 2012 putting the band’s fusion of indie and electro pop firmly on the landscape of the UK music scene.

It might be fair to say though that this past threesome of releases starting with Fingertips/Indian Summer, unveiled March 30th 2015, has raised the profile of the band most of all. The two track offering was fuelled by their most infectious and imaginatively creative adventure yet, subsequently built upon and pushed again by the Book About Foxes EP last September. Now to show that the three releases in a year also meant a continuation of the resourceful and inventive prowess soaking the band’s music, The Things We Did To Pass The Time released the end of this past March has ears joyful and spirits dancing.

Alphabet Backwards weaves a sound which simply puts a smile on the face and though the songs within the new EP might not be their most virulent catchy, each has a new depth in warmth and melodic revelry which ignites the same satisfied smile and thick enjoyment. It opens up with The Glass and straight away has ears fully engaged as the now familiar vocals of the band walk amongst a melodic jangle and jabbing beats. As much as the band’s music entices so does their vocal prowess and expression, male and female tones coming together as alluringly as keys and guitars caress a thicker rhythmic tempting. The song continues to caress and seduce with its flirtatious gait and melodic enterprise, warming ears and imagination perfectly for the rolling canter of Escape Artist.

Straight away the second song reminds a little of eighties band The Woodentops, its flirty rhythms and strolling melodic shuffle matched in magnetic kind by the vocals. That nostalgic feel continues as keys bubble and rhythms take their moment to entice as moments of slim but infectious relaxation break. The song predominantly though is a lively affair and quite superb, emerging the favourite amongst a trio of seriously addictive proposals completed by the vivacious waltz of Television. The last song’s swing is pure pop and its intimate textures almost folkish; a combination which simply lights ears and emotions as guitars and keys swirl and smoulder around more of those captivating vocals.

Alphabet Backwards is proving to be a band that induces real anticipation with every upcoming release; The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP showing exactly why.

The Things We Did To Pass The Time EP is out now via iTunes and other stores.

Pete Ringmaster 19/04/2016

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Alphabet Backwards – Book About Foxes EP

AB_RingMaster Review

Continuing with their intent to write and record three separate releases in a year without the need of studios or labels, Alphabet Backwards now release their second in the tasty shape of the by Book About Foxes EP. It offers three songs which melodically smile as broadly as they physically captivate, tracks which continue the resourceful enterprise which marked its predecessor earlier this year, the excellent and acclaimed double A-sided single, Fingertips/Indian Summer. The EP is more of the same, fresh slices of warm creative adventure which individually explore their own unique magnetism and collectively leave ears and emotions engrossed. The British indie poppers certainly do not have sound which demands attention, or tone to their music which forcibly seizes the initiative between song and listener, yet as evidenced by Book About Foxes, it has a seductive mesmerism which is very hard to pull away from, that is if you would ever want to.

As with the last single, the Oxford quintet of Josh, Steph, Paul, Bob Tom, and James were again holed up in a remote part of Devon to create their new temptations. The EP’s songs were possibly written and recorded at Buckhouse Farm over the same intensive period of three weekends devoted only to making music which bred Fingertips/Indian Summer; either way it is obviously a process and endurance by the band which works as evidenced by the lure of the single and now the band’s EP, and no doubt to be confirmed by their third offering which is scheduled for March next year to mark and end the 365 day period and endeavour.

cover_RingMaster Review  Book About Foxes opens with Trips and a tangy bassline which is soon joined by grinning percussion and just as bright vocals from the band. With guitars wrapping their tender and elegant weaves around that initial bait and ears, the song is quickly skipping through the imagination, enticing with every poetic melody and warm tone of those varied voices. It is a catchy encounter though it never slips its reins as you might expect, its revelry composed rather than tenacious but perpetually engaging, especially as keys bring their fresh adventure and creative drama to the fun.

The strong start is quickly backed and slightly eclipsed by Second Hand Smoke, a song swinging with a tasty dark bass groove from the off and the ever enticing union of vocals. Crystalline melodies and spicy new wave hues only add to the contagious character and festivity of the song, its slightly sultry air and resourceful creative swagger piling on more reasons that the EP is surely going to be greedily devoured.

Chris de Burgh brings the EP to a similarly enjoyable close, the song thankfully not the man himself, its melancholic tinge as poetic and alluring as the shimmering melodies and vocal expression shaping the increasingly fascinating and persuasive song. The track just enthrals and certainly rivals its predecessor as best song, especially with its delicious twinges of discord throughout .

It is a great end to another compelling offering from Alphabet Backwards; a band which creates folk kissed, melody drenched indie pop that simply leaves a warm glow in ears and emotions.

The Book About Foxes EP is out now!

Pete RingMaster 28/09/2015

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Alphabet Backwards – Fingertips/Indian Summer

Alphabet Backwards - Band pic (2)


Alphabet Backwards is a British indie pop band engaged in the intent to write and record three separate releases in a year. Alone without the need of studios or labels and with, in the words of the band, “a ferocious work ethic, some home recording equipment, and an element of freedom that has not been there in the past, “ the band now release the first of these endeavours in the magnetic shape of double A-sided single, Fingertips/Indian Summer. It is a bewitching couple of songs which merge seductive elegance with melancholic charm, not tracks to ignite an instant roar of lust but persuasions which get under the skin with increasing success.

Hailing out of Oxford and seemingly having been around for a few years with a handful or so of releases under their belt, the quintet of Josh, Steph, Paul, Bob Tom, and James spent a weekend at Buckhouse Farm in a remote part of Devon, to create and record their new single, a process to be repeated twice more for their next two propositions in 2015. The band spent the time “playing, writing, recording, eating together, and collapsing in the early hours of each morning all for the sake of pop music.” What emerged was two slices of captivation thick in emotive invention and in the case of Fingertips, summery tenacity.

Alphabet Backward single cover   The song straight away cradles ears in a smiling embrace of sultry keys, harmonious vocals, and percussive enticing. Almost as immediately, various synth colours add their fizzing spicery to proceedings, unveiling an imaginative and vibrantly simmering collection of textures as a down to earth dark bassline adds a great tempering yet inviting contrast. The song continues to stroll with a warm grin on its creative lips and dark emotional shadow in its heart, its infectiousness as addictive as the great vocals and ripe charm within it.

Indian Summer is a much more sobering though no less fascinating proposition. Keys and voice are again the main source of emotion and tempting but backed by a gentle rhythmic shuffle within a slow melancholic musical croon. No aspect stands out over another to be honest yet the thick and pungent nature of melodies and the impressive mix of vocals draw a focal point within which the track’s lyrical strength flourishes.

Both songs provide an intriguing potential loaded and highly enjoyable offering and if Alphabet Backward’s upcoming releases can match this, the band is destined to be heartily talked of by the end of the year if not sooner.

Fingertips/Indian Summer is available now @

Upcoming Alphabet Backwards Live Dates:

2nd April – Oxford – Tiny tiny tiny tiny festival and purely acoustic

11th April – Oxford – Wheatsheaf

17th April – Cardiff – Buffalo Bar

24th April – Nottingham – Jam cafe

16th May – London – The Finsbury

RingMaster 31/03/2015

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Matt Norris & The Moon: This Kingdom EP

We cannot claim to have an in depth knowledge of folk music let alone the traditional Scottish Folk and the more contemporary folk which are both said to influence the sounds of Matt Norris & The Moon, but it is impossible to miss the fine and vibrant sounds which weave their graceful elegance and passion within their debut EP This Kingdom. The release is a mesmeric introduction to most for the band with four songs thick in emotion and defined in craft and passion.

Formed in 2009 by Matt Norris (guitar, lead vocals) and Tom MacColl (bass) who met at the University of Edinburgh, the band soon expanded with the addition of Dave Law (trumpet, mandolin) after the duo started playing at his open mic nights, as well as Helen Cookson (fiddle, flute) and Dale Birrel (keys, accordion). It did not take them long to become a strong presence in the newly emerging Edinburgh folk scene and beyond with the quintet, after working hard realising and giving definition to their sound, sharing stages with the likes of Ben Howard, Villagers, Lucy Rose, Pete Roe, Rachel Sermanni, Alphabet Backwards, Kitty the Lion, Dry the River, Three Blind Wolves, Woodenbox and Chasing Owls and initially making a mark with tan opening set at the Edinburgh Hogmanay Concert in Gardens supporting Sons & Daughters, Bombay Bicycle Club and Primal Scream. Their music is a warm and open blend of smoothly caressing harmonies, thoughtful melodies, and heart fuelled coming together of striking guitar and double bass with sparking trumpet, fiddle, flute, and accordion. All combined they make sounds which fill the songs with an evocative breath and captivating energy.

Released on 17 Seconds Records the EP instantly enchants and takes one into the rich and impassioned heart of the release. Opening song Roots Below slowly dawns on the vocals of Norris wrapped in a welcoming trumpet and gentle guitar grasp. The wonderful voice of Cookson adds an extra flush of warmth as the song slowly opens its arms before pulling one into its full and energised embrace. One fully unveiled the song is an enthusiastic and infectious stomp that gives a hope and life to the lyrical tale engaged in the aftermath of a broken relationship.

The quieter and emotive Eyes of a Storm follows next bringing an air of uncertainty and hope walking hand in hand. It carries a traditional Scottish lilt to its conversation with the senses, the accordion and fiddle sparking feelings and thoughts into action. In two songs the band shows a varied swim within their songwriting, both songs connecting with passion through different musical doorways and something the other compositions match equally.

Shadow from the Sun is the best track on This Kingdom and a song which removes one from their thoughts into a full and rounded vision of a soul in reflection. From the enchanting flute lighting up the ear the song is a busy and controlled stroll of inventive melodies, stirring guitar, and an impressively balanced uplifting flurry of flute and trumpet imagination. The song is uplifting and leading towards a defiant climatic realisation and strength, its power and lass easily capturing the imagination and heart.

The EP closes with The Shallows an atmospheric and slightly mournful song which opens through a brooding slightly droning entrance with great bass moodiness from MacColl. The song reminds a little of another Scottish band Letters in its atmosphere and darkened sense of frustration and wastage of time.

This Kingdom is an impressive and evocative release that touches deeply with skill and understanding. It is a masterful pleasure and indicates Matt Norris & The Moon as a band that not only in folk music but further afield has a promising and distinct future ahead.

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