“Across its 16 tracks and interludes, it delivers a feverish shot of pure indie adrenaline” – DORK MAGAZINE ****
“Marsicans prove there’s more than meets the eye on an indie-pop drenched debut”- THE LINE OF BEST FIT – 8.5/10
“The perfect soundtrack for a back garden festival” – GIGWISE – 8/10
“It is both expectedly brilliant and unexpectedly expansive.” – MUSIC OMH ****
“They have delivered a strong debut album which should deserve another.” CLASH – 7/10
“This Leeds indie quartet have the same slick arena-indie heft of Foals, Two Door Cinema Club and Circa Waves.” – THE GUARDIAN
“catchy blast of energy” – CONSEQUENCE OF SOUND
“Refreshing break from cookie-cutter alt-rock” – EARMILK
14th August 2020, Leeds – Following on from a wealth of highly-praised and impressive singles unveiled since the start of the year, Leeds’ indie-rock heroes Marsicans today release their eagerly-awaited debut album ‘Ursa Major’ through Killing Moon Records.
The 12-track debut LP, recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios (a landmark familiar to any fans of Queen, Oasis, and The Stone Roses) features the six previously shared singles ‘These Days’, ‘Summery In Angus’, ‘Sunday’, ‘Juliet’, ‘Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II)’ and ‘Someone Else’s Touch’ alongside six glorious brand new, as yet unheard indie pop gems. Scratch the surface and there lies a range of themes about the complexities of life as a young adult in the modern era. Some songs reflect the kinds of personal struggles faced by many in their twenties (self-doubt, wayward friendships, love, heartbreak, regret); others shine a light on societal issues like the impact of technology on mental health and the polarisation of politics.
Ursa Major track listing:
- Sleep Start
- Dr Jekyll
- Summery In Angus
- Interlude I
- Someone Else’s Touch
- These Days
- Interlude II (William’s poem)
- Can I Stay Here Forever (pt. II)
- Interlude III
- Blood In My Eye
- Leave Me Outside
- Should’ve Been There
Speaking about the new record, lead singer James Newbigging said, “As a band, we’ve taken the scenic route to our debut album. We had the best time in the world doing so, but it’s a pretty special feeling knowing that people are about to hear the album for the first time. We’ve poured all of ourselves into this music and, if it helps anyone through some bad times or helps anyone have a good time, then we’ve achieved what we set out to do.”
Their preview offerings have all seen continued support for the band across UK and international radio, DSP’s and TV. Media support for Marsicans has come by way of The Guardian’s 50 Best New Artists for 2020 tip, Sunday Times’ ‘Hottest Tracks’ (Pop-Ups [Sunny at the Weekend]), BBC Entertainment News Interview, DORK, The Line Of Best Fit, CLASH, GIGWISE, All Things Go, EARMILK, Wonderland, Consequence of Sound, Official Charts and #1 on Hype Machine’s Top 10 Most Blogged Artists of the week.
The band has a famous connection to Rockfield through fellow recording alumni Coldplay who, it seems, had kept an eye on Marsicans from the early days, going as far as to tweet their love of their 2017 single ‘Friends’. “My phone stopped working because Twitter went so fucking insane and we saw a mad spike in streams,” remembers bassist Rob Brander. “It still feels weird. I don’t think it’s real.” Then, when it came to album time, there was an out-of-the-blue suggestion from the Coldplay camp that Marsicans might like to have a look round their own London studios for the sessions. The conversation however soon settled on Rockfield, where Chris Martin and co had recorded their seminal debut album ‘Parachutes’.
Having previously only recorded in the tiny basement of a terraced house in Bradford where their producer lives, working in the iconic Rockfield for the then-unsigned band was quite the culture shock – not to mention a leap of faith.
“We watched that Oasis documentary Supersonic,” remembers Brander, recalling a scene filmed at Rockfield. “That’s when we realised the gravitas of the situation. It felt like we’d made it. We’d been through all the highs and lows of celebrating and bollocking each other. We owed it to ourselves after that amount of time to try every idea. By the time we got to Rockfield we were like, ‘Let’s let these songs spread their wings in this big, beautiful studio.”
As an independent band, booked to headline the British Music Embassy’s BBC line-up at this year’s SXSW’s before COVID-19 stepped in, Marsicans had already headlined the BBC Introducing stage at Reading and Leeds festival 2019, played Glastonbury, opened for Kaiser Chiefs at Elland Road stadium, made fans of Foals when they supported them in Hamburg, toured the UK with We Are Scientists, had radio play on BBC Radio 1 and Radio X, lit up Spotify and Apple playlists, featured on Later… With Jools Holland, MTV, BT Sport, Match Of The Day, and the opening credits of Made In Chelsea, scored a surprise UK 7″ vinyl chart Number One for their 2019 single ‘Your Eyes’ all ahead of recording their debut album.
Due to the cancellation of this year’s SXSW festival Marsicans recorded a live session for BBC Radio 1 as part of their SXSW contingency coverage ‘The BME Sessions’. You can listen back to ‘Juliet’ and ‘Sunday’ here – https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gncj
While the coronavirus pandemic put a halt to their previously planned October dates this year, the band have now confirmed three new performances set to take place in April 2021. See below for the full list of new UK tour dates. Tickets on sale now – http://www.marsicans.co.uk/tour
London Lafayette – April 3, 2021
Manchester Bread Shed – April 10, 2021
Leeds Beckett University – April 17, 2021
James Newbigging – lead vocals and guitar
Oliver Jameson – guitar and vocals
Rob Brander – bass, keyboards and lead vocals
Matthew ‘Cale’ McHale – drums and vocals