Arthur Walwin – Hard To Love review

Since we caught up with him at Macmillan Fest last year, we’ve held an eager interest in the music of London based pop-rock singer/songwriter Arthur Walwin, with his last single Bad featuring as our track of the week. Now he’s returned, even better than ever, with the lead single off his debut album Sleepless, out July 27th. The track, which you can check out below, features alternative hip-hop artist Refraze.

It’s easy to see how Arthur takes influence equally from mainstream pop music and pop-punk bands, with the reflecting-on-a-relationship attitude of Mayday Parade meeting the contagious chorus you’d expect in a radio ready single. Fun, infectious, and with a calibre of production that reflects Arthur’s wealth of experience producing for other artists, Hard To Love shows great promise for the forthcoming album.

Listen to Hard To Love below.

Arthur Walwin at The Maze, Nottingham

Through the release of his two most recent singles, This Feels Like Summer! and Bad, we’ve been supporting London-based pop singer/songwriter Arthur Walwin. Yesterday, we posted the chat we had with him before the final show of his UK tour before he heads over to America next week, at one of Nottingham’s more intimate venues – The Maze.

We previously had chance to check out Arthur’s live show at Macmillan Fest, and here he returns with his solo show, lead by the same fluid vocals that made his set so unique before. Despite the soft side to his voice it remains powerful, a raw edge to his songs giving chance for his distinct vocals to come into their own. And of course, laced throughout the show is the home-grown-pop infusion that makes Arthur’s work the stand-out that it is.

So Much For An Early Night and Someone Who Knows (Arthur’s biggest original YouTube hit) both give chance for him to show the dexterity in his vocal work; stripped back to simply a guitar, the instrumental backs up this sound and focuses attention on him. With such a stage presence this forced focus is hardly needed though, and a confident set isn’t hindered by the familiarity that links him to the music only enhances the show. The same assurance is evident in his current work, with This Feels Like Summer!‘s out-of-season sound seeming more appropriate without a full band.

As well as a range of Arthur’s own music the night wound in two covers – Taking Back Sunday’s MakeDamnSure and The 1975’s Sex. The former of these is introduced with an anecdote regarding his choice to include it; it’s moments like this that work so well in an intimate venue and add a personal touch to the set, blended in seamlessly with sing-a-long tracks that only a stadium could do justice to. Penultimate song of the night, Sex, is enhanced beyond The 1975’s original with Arthur’s crisp and distinct vocals marking their space on the track.

Another of his original’s, So Nice To Meet You was undeniably one of the cleanest performed that night; a romantic fondness laced through the tight lyricism makes this a track with “I wish I could’ve written that” embedded on your mind afterwards. In our interview with him, the singer/songwriter talks about how other forms of art influence him, making reference to one of the most striking line of the set, from All For You – “I saved all my favourite chords for you”. With the crowd joining in with the close of the track (“This is love / This is ours / This is all for you”), there couldn’t have been a better way to close the show.

Despite being an acoustic show in an intimate venue, it’s not had to picture how the same set could be built up to a full band and take on a sold-out arena.

Arthur Walwin – Bad review

After supporting his release of This Feels Like Summer! all the way back in July, we’re ridiculously excited to tell you that the new music doesn’t finish there, with tonight marking the release of the lyric video for his new single, Bad – you can check it out below. Despite the title of his new single this track is anything but – trust us.

For those of you aren’t familiar with Arthur’s work, his music strikes the perfect mix of emotional depth through lyricism that leaves you wishing you’d written it, all the hooks and power of an All Time Low single, and the sheer, feel-good, outgoing sheen of Katy Perry.

His music is a guilty pleasure without any of the guilt; whilst bragging the beat and optimism of a track ideally suited to a daytime Radio 1 or a chart hit, there’s a grounding sense of passion in his music that’s exclusively elicited in song forged from a love of music – the sort of raw love you only usually find in unsigned bands selling their soul to continuing playing.

Lyrically, this single pivots around the idea of being true to yourself and ignoring people who play the victim and blame you; it’s an accessible theme laced in an accessible beat – the real charm of his work.

With his success from recent releases powering him along, Arthur takes to the road in a week, before heading over to America for a pair of dates in California in just under a month. You can catch him live on-

23rd October: Dundee – Buskers
27th October: London – The Garage
29th October: Swansea – Static
30th October: Plymouth – Tiki Bar
31st October: Chatham – Prince of Wales
2nd November: Nottingham – The Maze

15th November: Los Angeles, CA – The Mint
16th November: San Diego, CA – Woody’s

Arthur Walwin interview at Macmillan Fest

ARTHUR 2Hi, can you introduce yourself and tell us where you are?
Hi, I’m Arthur Walwin, and I’m currently in Nottingham at Macmillan Fest.

You’ve already played your set here today – how was it?
It was really good! This is the first time I’ve played here on my own so the crowd reaction was amazing, like, so many people came out and everyone was singing along so it was really fun.

We last caught up with you released your most recent single This Feels Like Summer! What’s been going on since then?
Literally doing a lot of live shows, before I just did a lot of YouTube covers and post stuff online so I’ve really been trying to do a lot of shows and tours and stuff, so it’s been really good. The reaction to the video’s been amazing since it came out, I don’t know, I just wanted to release a song because I hadn’t in a while and everyone reacted to it really good!
The video’s just so fun!
(laughs)
It’s the sort of thing you just want, isn’t it?
We more or less just had a party that day, it was really good, it was really professional, but at the same time we had a good time shooting it so it was good, it was fun.

You’ve just supported StakeOut for their final show, how was that?
I play guitar for StakeOut, ’cause I produced their EP in 2011 and their next EP in 2013 I think, so I’ve know them for ages, and they were like, “well you know all our songs anyway, so why don’t you just play guitar for us live?” ’cause they never found a lead guitarist, so I always played for them live, and we’ve done like two tours together, and yeah, they just decided to split up. It’s such a shame, they’re like the nicest guys I’ve met. Bane, the drummer (Alex Banes), he was down here today, like we still hang out, I’m seeing the guys next weekend and stuff, it’s not like anyone’s fallen out or anything, it’s just, usual band reasons why they can’t carry on, but it was good to have the last show, because sometimes band don’t get that, they just split up and just leave it. It was good ’cause we had time to book the venue and get everyone down, and it was good, it was honestly one of the best shows I’ve played, ever.
That’s impressive then!
Yeah, it was so good, like every time I’ve played with StakeOut we’ve done Academy 3 in Birmingham, we thought we’d go one bigger, we did Academy 2, which is… I think it’s twice the size? There were so many people there, every song, they were singing along to it so loud, it was crazy. We had such a good time!

I’ve seen you talking on social networking about how so many bands have been splitting up recently, because there’s so much struggle in the music industry.
Yeah! So many bands, obviously StakeOut and a few other friends I know, they just don’t want to do it anymore, and it’s a shame. Like, I love it, I literally couldn’t do anything else.
You do so much, you’ve worked with at least two of the bands on today’s line-up, Violet and Anavae.
I’ve worked with Violet, Anavae, Hype Theory, Adelphia and… I feel like there’s someone else, but I can’t remember. Most people I’ve seen today, I recognise their face. I love working with bands though, it’s so fun, because I think you need to be a certain type of person to be in a band, like have the same sense of humour, have interests in the same stuff obviously, so everyone just gets along, like you rarely meet a band that you won’t get along with, so it’s just something I love doing. Obviously the job part of it’s great too, so it’s really good.

Last time we had a chat you said you had about forty voice memos on your phone waiting to be turned into songs.
I have so many! I wrote the best chorus in the bathroom yesterday, it’s so random, we got a new bathroom fitted in my parents’ house, and I went there for the first time and it was so echoey, like, “this sounds so good”, and I just started singing, and I came up with this chorus and eventually I’m going to turn that into a song. Before I came to Nottingham I was recording a song and I was out with my friends, and I forgot to take my phone with me, which I never do, like my phone is with me at all times, and I came up with this song in my head, and I had to go to my mate like, “can I leave myself a voice mail?” So I went to the toilet, called myself, sang the song down the phone and scribbled it down when I got in, ’cause I’ll forget otherwise, I have a terrible memory. I have this idea that when the album’s finished, I’m going to put all the voice memos together and do like a special edition thing, so you can see how they started off as a sketchy voice memo, ’cause I listened back to the voice memos for This Feels Like Summer! and you’re like, “that’s the worst song ever”,  but it makes sense in my head.
And it’s turned out brilliantly! It’s not a typical, sold-out simply pop song, but it’s got the energy and the vibe that you’d expect from that.
I love that kinda of like cheesy pop, like I don’t know why but Carly Ray-Jepson’s album is on repeat constantly like every song it like pure pop smash, but I love that and I love Ke$ha and I love bands that write their own stuff, like I love All Time Low and Mayday Parade, like it’s a mix between the two. I think that’s what I’m doing know, kinda of finding the happy place between the two, ’cause  a lot of my old stuff is a lot slower, and more “meaningful”, but I like to have fun on stage as well.

Now this is a very specific question, but you’re here today with Anavae and Violet, and you wrote a song with them called Closer, but it’s based on the film – how did that come about?
Basically, if you’ve never seen the film, it’s probably one of the best films ever, like if you’ve ever so much as thought about being in a relationship, it relates to you. It’s the most heart-wrenching film in the world. I told either Charlie or Jamie to watch the film, and they went away and loved it, and we’ve always wanted to work together. I think Jamie came up with the music, like the guitars and drums and stuff, and we wanted some screaming, and we’re really good friends with Violet, so we got Charlie. We actually write it, like, on the day. I’m really scared about doing writing sessions with other people, because there’s always the awkward thing of everyone turns up, and has no ideas, and you just end up sitting around for four hours, but it was really good. There’s some really heavy lines in that film, and when you watch it, you realise all the Panic! At The Disco songs and all the Fall Out Boy songs are basically from it, it’s so crazy.

And, finally, any way you’d like to end the interview?
I… don’t think I have anything really important to say! Other than that I’m going on tour in October, we just announced the London date, which is in the October half term, it’s on the 27th, at the Garage, and Rumours are supporting, they’re a band I really love, so it was great to get them on the tour. We’re gonna put up the rest of the dates soon, it’s going to be in the October half term, so everyone should be able to make it!