With the campus experience moved entirely online for the foreseeable future, engaging with any music scene can be tough, let alone the local Warwick scene. Fear not – Boar Music has collated a list of some of the university’s artists and music-appreciation societies so you know exactly what they’ve been getting up to in lockdown.
Forester, otherwise known as Lina Adams, a second-year English Literature and Creative Writing student, has recently released her new single ‘Orange Days’. A warm, feel-good piece of solace in uncertain times, it follows earlier release ‘Universe’ and her 2019 EP Fictional Episodes. Lina describes it as “nostalgia for a time before lockdown”: “I wrote it in the first week of lockdown and the lyrics came to me very quickly (…) The quarantine has given me a lot of time to think, and I have written some of my most honest and raw lyrics during this time”. When at university, Lina also plays with her band, who came third in this year’s Battle of the Bands.
- Warning Light Music
Six Warwick students split between France, Switzerland and the UK, Warning Light have defied the technical difficulties of the Coronavirus pandemic, different exam timetables, and in some cases, a lack of actual instruments, to record ‘Tea Time’, their first contribution to #jamathome. The song, with its dream-pop essences and soothing, stripped-back vocals, predates another release the band have planned, which set for the end of June.
2019 Battle of the Bands winners and Boar interviewees SOHLER released their latest track ‘Canary Song’ on Friday. The band have been busy promoting their upcoming EP Vital Signs with previous indie-rock release ‘Computer’ and a chat to Emma on Behind The Barriers, as well as being featured on BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.
“We’ve drawn from varied influences to create what we hope is an accessible alternative rock sound,” – the band say on Vital Signs, which is set for an August release – “characterised by our hugely energetic new single ‘Canary Song’ and its predecessor ‘Computer’. It’s an EP we’re all very proud of and are excited for everyone to hear”.
- Maggot Erotica
After releasing their first album Bong Rips For Satan in April – including vocal features from fellow Warwick metal band Shibboleth – death metal band Maggot Erotica have been using their time at home to improve their social media presence and engage with their fans: vocalist Jordan Ramsden played an immense five-hour long Facebook Live, the band had an interview on Behind The Barriers and they also have their own official merch store.
Jordan said on their new album: “I tried to push the songs in a more mature and structured direction, not just being heavy for heavy’s sake as I did on Devotion To Gore [their 2019 EP]. I also thought it’d be interesting to contrast the fast, grindy songs of Maggot Erotica with the slow stoner metal of Devouring Reality on the second half of the split EP”.
- The Lowlights
Second-year English student Ben Hanson’s band The Lowlights also shared the experience of releasing music from home: their demo ‘Pastel Girl’ was recorded, produced and released during the lockdown. “Writing and recording in lockdown has been a real challenge,” Ben told me: “we had to buy equipment to properly record bass and vocals so we spent a long time waiting for shipping”. Despite logistical struggles, the band have more plans for upcoming releases, with their next track set for release in the coming days.
- Practical Folkers (Warwick A Capella group)
One of Warwick A Capella’s groups, Practical Folkers have created a lockdown cover of the Bob Dylan classic ‘Blowin’ In The Wind’, using, in more modern a capella style, just their voices and some modern technology. Although composing the piece wasn’t easy (“if you’re not in time with the click track then when all the parts are put together they won’t be in sync with each other and it’ll sound a bit rubbish”), the group have used their time at home to make up for the disappointment of cancelled Term Three gigs and create some potential new music in the future.
- Music Theatre Warwick competition
The society is about to enter the Inter University Musical Theatre Festival (IUMTF), hosted by Durham and including a range of different universities across the UK: their submitted video includes members “singing” and “dancing” – “all virtually and in our own homes!” “It’s been quite the undertaking but we’re excited to see it and everyone else’s entries”, the society’s musical supervisor John Hodgson said. Their entry video will be posted at the end of this week, with the results announced midday on the 17th!
- Warwick Chinese Orchestra Society
Warwick’s Chinese Orchestra Society put on their first Facebook live event in April: the performers were pipa player and former president Angela Li, playing the traditional Chinese piece called ‘Wei Shui Qing’, Yijun Quan, who played the Chinese flute, Dizi, to the piece of ‘Gusu Xing’ to share the beauty of his hometown, Suzhou, and Maggie Sun, who played the Chinese zithe, Guzheng. “Since it was the first event held by us as the new execs,” WCOS President Fu Ge explained, “it was really special – as we learnt a lot about organising and planning for an event”.
- RAW – Behind The Barriers
Emma Wilkes was set to launch her new show Behind The Barriers in the summer, but when Term Three was cancelled, her plans also moved online: “although we haven’t had access to the studio this term, I’ve still been able to produce the show from home. I’ve learnt to use new technology and I’m far better at audio editing than I used to be,” she told me, proving the lockdown to not be without its silver-linings for creators. As well as chatting to previously mentioned Warwick bands Maggot Erotica and SOHLER, Emma also has interviews with Wargasm, Out Of Love and Holding Absence in the pipeline for the next few weeks.