Tag Archives: alternative

Less Than Zero: An Interview with ZouZou Mansour from Soraia + Album Release Show this Friday at Milkboy!!!!

30 Sep

Soraia Instagram

Back in January, I heard a song on Little Steven’s Underground Garage that rocked so hard I stayed in the car until it was over even though I arrived at my destination. I took a picture of the band’s name to remember to look it up later, somewhat ashamed. How have I never heard of this badass babe from the 70s named Soraia covering The Kinks song “(I’m Not) Like Everybody Else”? To my surprise, when I googled the musician, it turned out to be a band, and a current one, from my hometown of Philadelphia. I immediately found out who was singing and reached out to ZouZou Mansour the powerful, earth-goddess vocal machine who sounds like she’s from another time. We soon met at a coffee shop for an interview. I wanted to know everything about her life and her band, and I was pleasantly surprised at how raw, honest, and open she was. ZouZou’s story not only moved me, but it ignited the fire and passion I have for music talking to such a strong, influential woman in the industry.

In honor of Soraia’s album release show and music video shoot at Milkboy in Philly this Friday, I am releasing our interview in three parts over the course of this week. Read part one below and buy your tickets to this Friday’s show and music video shoot now here! Tickets are only $10 and with The Good Excuses and The Droogettes opening, you do not want to miss this epic night of pure rock’n’roll.

Soraia TBird and ZZ (Beth)

“I grew up in an upper middle class family. My father was Egyptian and my mother was Belgian, so they were both from other countries. I remember very early having the idea that I couldn’t tell people about my family life because it was very secretive. There was a lot of domestic abuse, a lot of yelling, a lot of uncertainty, a lot of adjusting to people’s moods from an early age and sensing people’s moods. Which I think helps me- it’s a gift and a curse. You know, because in relationships- not so good, in music- great. It’s a good way to work with an audience and change their mood. But several suicide attempts as a young person, just feeling hopeless, and never really telling anyone about them. But I remember when I found music: it saved my life. It absolutely saved my life so many times. No matter what happened or what was going on at home, this all happened through high school into when my mother died. I was seventeen. Music was my way of detaching from the pain of watching people I love self destruct. I always had this feeling that I could control them in some way and fix them. Music was the one thing that I did for myself that I found joy and solace in and always gave me a sense of hope. So music to me is something I not only honor, but I always hear Joan Jett say, ‘it’s like a religion’. For not many people it is, but for me it’s absolutely a religion. It’s the one thing that made me feel safe, made me feel joy, made me feel every mood that I would squelch in every other way. You know, songs have done that for me.”


“I’ve always been attracted to female artists more so, even though I listened to a lot of male artists I was always a fan of songs more than bands. Though in high school I was very attracted to a certain type of band. I loved raw bands. I loved melody. It’s like what I liked hearing was the opposite of what I liked seeing musically. I loved melody. I loved melody (she emphasizes). I loved stories. I loved all genres. I just loved songs. There wasn’t many artists I didn’t like growing up. I did listen to popular radio I would say until…I remember Nirvana being so big at one point and all those bands of that ’92, ’93, ’94 period being such a big influence on me. Because it was so different than what had come before it and I remember just thinking, ‘I found something that spoke to me’. There were so many great female fronted acts like The Breeders at the time, the song “Cannonball” I’ll never forget that song. Just great music in the early to mid 90s and that’s kind of been my biggest influence on my writing and on me getting in touch with a lot of things that are darker inside and accepting those parts. I don’t have to be happy all the time. Its okay. But I never really thought of music as a career except I always was a drummer. In high school I started an all girl band and it was ‘we were going to be famous, we were going to be huge’ we just learned cover songs constantly. I played drums because I wanted to be a singer, but I had this belief which I thought you were either born to sing or you weren’t. My voice was so masculine was so low, that in my high school it was considered not a very good voice. I don’t know if that message was said to me or if I just thought that because all the girls who got the parts had those ‘high voices’, she sings out before joking, “I can’t even reach that note. So I thought well I’m never going to be a singer but I still want to be in music so I’ll play drums, I loved playing drums. That’s how I started out and it was until a birthday I had I remember I was playing drums for a band and that’s when I started singing because their singer didn’t show up. So I just jumped.”


“Growing up music always gave me comfort, but there was a period where I got really lost after my mother died. At 17, I made a conscience decision the day of her funeral that I was going to stop doing the right thing and doing anything good and if there was a god in the world it wanted nothing to do with me. So I was going to do everything to destroy my own life. It was a very conscience decision on my part to pick up drugs and alcohol. When I picked up I picked up hardcore. I didn’t pick up and dabble. I wasn’t there to experiment. I was there to get lost. Because I felt so much. Most artists feel very deeply and most humans do but especially artists. I think they tend to feel weird about their [sensitivity], because it’s not the common sensitivity. It’s hard to deal with life on life’s terms often, but at that point I didn’t want to feel anything because everything I felt was pain. So drugs and alcohol helped me to squelch that. But it also led me down a lot of bad roads. That part of wanting to die and everything, I felt bad and it kept following me around. The people I got involved with and the things that happened to me have made me into the singer I am today. It’s a blessing, first of all that I survived it, and second of all, I have a message, and it’s a strong one. I think it comes through when people hear my voice, they hear it and they’re either attracted to it or repelled by it,” she laughs. “Hopefully attracted to it and it’s just a deeper [meaning] when you go through stuff. That’s why I that lotus. It grows through mud and becomes beautiful. I feel like you can take anything that happened and make it into beauty.”

Stay tuned for part two of my interview with Soraia tomorrow and listen to a new track from their upcoming record Less Than Zero “Radio Sister” below.

Come out to Milkboy this Friday for Soraia’s Less Than Zero record release show with The Good Excuses and The Droogettes opening at 8:30 PM. Tickets are $10 and you can get them here.

xx Cher

For more new music follow mylifeinsound on Facebook and Twitter!

morning jam: Sundara Karma “Vivienne”

24 Sep
Listen to the new single from UK's Sundara Karma "Vivienne" now!

Listen to the new single from UK’s Sundara Karma “Vivienne” now!

Reading-based band Sundara Karma have released “Vivienne”, the first single from their second EP conveniently named EP II due out November 6th on Chess Club Records!

Oscar Lulu from the band describes the new track “Vivienne”:

“It’s a love song sure, but more to do with the escapism that love can offer than love itself. The world is pretty fucked, not that this is a revelation, nor am I saying anything new. I’m just singing about a type of love that blocks out all the noise.”

Sundara Karma will head back out on the road today playing shows in the UK supporting The Wombats and Circa Waves. Check out dates below for that tour as well as their headlining tour starting on October 20th!

Listen to “Vivienne” and watch the music video for another one of our favorite tracks “Flame” below:

Sundara Karma Tour:

24th September Keele University, Stoke On Trent w/ The Wombats

27th September Norwich UEA, Norwich w/ The Wombats

28th September Nottingham Rock City, Nottingham w/ The Wombats

30th September Southampton Guildhall, Southampton w/ The Wombats

01st October Alexandra Palace, London w/ The Wombats

02nd October Cardiff University, Cardiff w/ The Wombats

03rd October Sheffield Plug, Sheffield w/ The Wombats

13th October O2 ABC, Glasgow w/ Circa Waves

14th October Manchester Academy 1, Manchester w/ Circa Waves

16th October Birmingham Institute, Birmingham w/ Circa Waves

17th October O2 Academy 1, Oxford w/ Circa Waves

20th October King Tuts, Glasgow

21st October Manchester Apollo w/ The Wombats

22nd October Oporto, Leeds

23rd October Liverpool Guild of Students w/ The Wombats

24th October Soup Kitchen, Manchester

26th October Bodega, Nottingham

27th October Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham

28th October The Horn, St Albans

31st October Sticky Mikes, Brighton

01st November Joiners, Southampton

02nd November Louisiana, Bristol

03rd November Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

04th November The Magnet, Liverpool

05th November Community, London

07th November Thirsty @ Readipop, Reading

Like what you hear? Follow Sundara Karma on Soundcloud, Facebook, and Twitter!

xx Cher

For more new music follow mylifeinsound on Facebook and Twitter!

morning jam: SULK “Black Infinity (Upside Down)”

22 Sep
Listen to SULK's blissfully trippy new single "Black Infinity (Upside Down)" now.  Photo by: Takeshi Suga

Listen to SULK’s blissfully trippy new single “Black Infinity (Upside Down)” now.
Photo by: Takeshi Suga

Get your Tuesday morning off to a dreamy start with Sulk‘s new single “Black Infinity (Upside Down)”. The mesmerizing new psych pop track will make you feel like you are floating on a cloud, and it’s only the first track off their upcoming sophomore album.

The London-based band have two shows coming up in their city at The Garage on September 25th and The Social on September 29th. For tickets and more information click here.

If you go to any of Sulk’s upcoming gigs make sure you take us in your photos and tweets @ mylifeinsound!

xx Cher

For more new music follow mylifeinsound on Facebook and Twitter!

new music video: FOALS “A Knife In The Ocean”

6 Aug

Foals have released a gorgeous new lyric video for “A Knife In The Ocean” watch below.

Foals have released a new lyric music video for “A Knife In The Ocean”!

The gorgeous new video was directed by Leif Podhajsky. “A Knife In The Ocean” is the third single the band has released from their upcoming album What Went Down available for pre-order now here. You get an automatic download of “A Knife In The Ocean” along with the previously released singles “Mountain At My Gates” and “What Went Down”. Watch videos now for all three tracks below.

Make sure you pre-order your copy of Foals new album What Went Down due out August 28th here!

xx Cher

morning jam: FOALS “Mountain At My Gates” + new music video!!!!

29 Jul
FOALS new album  WHAT WENT DOWN  is due out August 28th!

Foals new album WHAT WENT DOWN is due out August 28th!

FOALS really need to drop this new album. I think the anticipation is actually killing me and every other Foals fan in existence. Each stunning new single the band releases from the upcoming album What Went Down (due out August 28th) has me craving for more. Watch the bands epic new music video for “Mountain At My Gates” directed by NABIL shot on GoPro Spherical below! Make sure you pre-order What Went Down on Vinyl, CD, CD/DVD, Boxset and Digital for you and everyone you love.

Check out Foals playing the title track from the upcoming album “What Went Down” live at Maida Vale:

To make sure you don’t miss your chance to catch Yannis leaping from a balcony at a Foals show when they play a city near you, track the band on Songkick here!

xx Cher

morning jam: DMA’s “Feels Like 37”

24 Jul
DMA's are heading back to the US to play NYC next Wednesday (July 29th) at Mercury Lounge before heading to Lollapalooza!

DMA’s are heading back to the US to play NYC next Wednesday, July 29th, at Mercury Lounge before heading to Lollapalooza!

Have you ever listened to a song so much you wrote a three part harmony to the vocals? This is what I’ve done with DMA’s infectious new single “Feels Like 37”. The band recently played in Philly at Boot & Saddle! I missed it and will never forgive myself. So next time they come around you better believe you will know about it first here.

DMA’s are playing a show tonight at the Forum Cafe Bar in Sheffield, UK and Esquires Bedford in (you guessed it!) Bedford, UK tomorrow night! The Aussie band of babes will be back in the States next Wednesday to play Mercury Lounge in NYC and Lollapalooza the following weekend July 31st-August 2nd in Chicago. For tickets, more tour information, and to follow them on Songkick click here!

Kick off your weekend by listening to DMA’s badass new single “Feels Like 37” below. If you go to a DMA’s show, tag us in your photos. We want to see them! Just @ mylifeinsound across all channels!

xx Cher

afternoon jam: Kurt Vile “Pretty Pimpin”

21 Jul
Kurt Vile's new album 'b'lieve i'm going down' is due out September 25th.

Kurt Vile’s new album ‘b’lieve i’m going down’ is due out September 25th.

Philly’s favorite long-haired earth angel, Kurt Vile, just released a new video for “Pretty Pimpin” the first single from his upcoming album b’lieve i’m going down due out September 25th on Matador! The groovy new jam has Kurt Vile’s signature storytelling lyrics and mesmerizing guitars that make him one of my favorite artists. The song has me anticipating hearing even more new music from the upcoming record. You can watch the video directed by Daniel Henry below!

Pre-order Kurt Vile’s new album b’lieve i’m going down now via Matador, iTunes, Amazon, and Google Play.

The album will feature bonus tracks “b’lieve i’m goin down” and “bad omens (no faders)” with iTunes and Amazon pre-orders only, while the deluxe triple-LP version features several other bonus tracks.

b’lieve i’m goin down track list:

01 Pretty Pimpin
02 I’m an Outlaw
03 Dust Bunnies
04 That’s Life, tho (almost hate to say)
05 Wheelhouse
06 Life Like This
07 All in a Daze Work
08 Lost My Head there
09 Stand Inside
10 Bad Omens
11 Kidding Around
12 Wild Imagination
13 Less Talk (More Walkin Away) *
14 Nicotine Blues *
15 Bad Omens (No Edit) *
16 No Stranger to the Ball Bust *
17 Sax Omens (J Turbo) *
* deluxe 3xLP bonus tracks

Kurt Vile will be touring the new album this Fall! He will be playing in Philadelphia at Union Transfer on October 9th, you can get your tickets here! Tour dates are below, for tickets and more tour information, click here.

Kurt Vile Fall Tour Dates:
10-02 Boston, MA – The Paradise *#
10-03 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-04 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-07 New York, NY – Webster Hall *#
10-08 Washington, DC – 9:30 Club *#
10-09 Philadelphia, PA – Union Transfer *#
10-10 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-11 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits
10-14 Los Angeles, CA – Fonda Theater %
10-16 San Francisco, CA – Fillmore %
10-17 Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom %
10-18 Seattle, WA – The Showbox %
10-21 Minneapolis, MN – Mill City Nights *#
10-23 Chicago, IL – Thalia Hall *#
10-24 Detroit, MI – St. Andrew’s Hall *#
10-25 Toronto, Ontario – Phoenix Theatre *#
10-30 Paris, France – Pitchfork Music Festival Paris
10-31 Amsterdam, Netherlands – London Calling @ Paradiso *
11-01 Brussels, Belgium – Autumn Falls @ ABbBox *
11-03 Hamburg, Germany – Uebel & Gefahrlich *
11-04 Aarhus, Denmark – Voxhall
11-05 Oslo, Norway – Rockefeller
11-06 Stockholm, Sweden – Munchenbryggeriet *
11-07 Copenhagen, Denmark – Amerbio *
11-09 Berlin, Germany – Postbahnhof *
11-10 Cologne, Germany – Gebaeude 9 *
11-11 Brighton, England Concorde 2 *
11-12 London, England – Electric Ballroom
11-13 Bristol, England – Motion *
11-15 Dublin, Ireland – Vicar Street *
11-16 Glasgow, Scotland – ABC 1 *
11-17 Leeds, England – Leeds University Stylus *
11-18 Manchester, England – The Ritz *
11-20 Lucerne, Switzerland – Sudpol *
11-21 Lyon, France – Epicerie Moderne *
11-22 Barcelona, Spain – Apolo *
11-23 Madris, Spain – Penelope *
11-24 Lisbon, Portugal – Armazem F *
* with Waxahatchee
# with Luke Roberts
% with Cass McCombs and Heron Oblivion

xx Cher


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