Draw Me Stories
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Draw Me Stories

Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom | INDIE

Cardiff, Wales, United Kingdom | INDIE
Band Rock Folk


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos



"Draw Me Stories – The Unplugged Sessions"

Fixing you into a lazy haze-filled melancholy from the get go, Draw Me Stories bring their second album of folk infused ambience, this time with added roots. Following on from their debut The Plugged Sessions, the Welsh troupe unplug and play with their voices and more instrumentation to create a delicious album full of transcendental hymns.

Carl Hodgetts’ hauntingly poetic voice really begins to cascade through the veins on ‘Secret War’ as the sound of an accepted fate carries you through a story told through hurt filled sighs and groans. The Unplugged Sessions really does do what it intends, by stripping everything down to its purest form, beginning with the vocals and continuing throughout the bongo percussion and the strumming of the desolate acoustic guitar.

Echoing Damien Rice at his spirited best, Draw Me Stories fill their songs with tales of personal failure or love long lost, and it remains just as captivating. ‘Heart Attack’ and ‘Comes & Smiles & Leaves’ could have been plucked from a 1960’s heyday of mid-English folk nostalgia, with or without the possibilities of hallucinogenics.

When the guys plug in, they’re known for switching between the tempo of an indie anthem or a twee folk tune, and creating the same kind of opposed musical paces is more difficult while stripped to the bare essentials, but with added creaks in the voice, fastest number ‘Shake’ adds a welcome change of pace to the album, however short lived.

The delicacy and intimacy of tracks such as ‘The Oak Tree’ are not uncommon, but they are rarely done as well as evident here. A misty summer fate is perfect accompaniment to a record of such ambient melodrama as The Unplugged Sessions. - For Folk's Sake

"Draw Me Stories - The Sky and the Mirror"

First official plugged release from Cardiff three-piece, following on from their two excellent Plugged/Unplugged demo recordings. This four-track EP finds the band

Opening with the light bounce and infrequent cowbell of The You and Me Theatre, the EP gets off to a toe-tapping and optimistic start; 'In the garden we brush the specks of the past from off our heads.' sings Carl Hodgetts, his voice sounding remarkably Jeff Buckley-like. There's even more of that trademark Buckley-quiver to his vocals on second track Spiders which starts on an ominous and builds towards Wild West sounding backing vocal grunts. It's a brilliantly arranged track, melodic direct whilst deliciously off-beat at the same time.

Heart Attack has a head-nodding, laidback groove and guitar licks straight out of Santana, it - like all of Draw Me Stories work - is smart enough to retain its dark heart even when the music picks up the pace, filling its lyrics with angst and emotion that connects immediately with the listener. Closing song Blindfold is a spine-tingling and elegantly arranged song, with cymbals tentatively shimmering in the background as cooing vocals are layered in spookily around Carl's poetic lead. Half-way through the track becomes a clattering, folk stomp as the lyrics 'The circle never ends, the circle never stops.' are repeated with growing urgency. It's a lively and passionate close to a well-crafted EP.

Come the close of this EP you are left wanting, which is on the one hand a very good thing, but on the other there's also a sense that this recording in itself falls at little short of being a perfect package. It lacks that final ribbon wrapped round it to quite mark it out as something more than just a taste before a full album, regardless, this is a superb EP from one of the best folk-rock bands in the country right now. - God Is In The TV


Post-hardcore and indie-pop have so far been Wales' forte when it came to contemporary music, but if the recent SWN Festival taught us anything it's that there is a whole heap of diversified goodness ready for public consumption.

Draw Me Stories are likely to be pushed into a folk-rock corner despite never sounding particularly folkish, nor full-on rocky. There are heavy inklings though. On "Heart Attack", when the band launch into a acid-trip haze of wah-wah guitar solos with descending basslines it's resolutely charming. Especially so considering how much we normally dislike forays into psychedelia, especially ones which veer dangerously close to sounding like that song "Harder to Breath".

A shining gold star of recognition needs to go to the trio though for the second track of their four-track E.P. "Spiders" begins with a distant menace as the sound inches closer to a Conor Oberst-style of barely-restrained quivering emotion. There's always something immensely satisfying about a song which takes its time to gradually introduce new elements, taking you from isolated guitars to layered bombast without you ever necessarily realising how far you've come until it's too late. The "hoo hah" backing chants may seem slightly over-the-top on first listen, yet on reflection they perfectly pull the track towards a natural conclusion without the need to resort to a chaotic shouting match: although that would have been nice.

Scoring one for the surprise-twist column, "Blindfold" pulls a classic bait-and-switch, setting up a trench for muffled folk warfare before contorting itself into a jangly twee-pop exercise with rather awesome screams on the periphery, echoing the similar effect which early-Brand New or Fuck Buttons might elicit.

Inventive and surprising are two words we always wish we could use in relation to up-and-coming bands. With a little more energy focused on concocting stronger melodies, Draw Me Stories will be a force to be reckoned with, standing on the front line as Wales plants its flag on yet another genre.

For when the Welsh do something well, they do it exquisitely. - Strangeglue

"Review: Draw Me Stories – Becomes The Hunted/Oars"

Rattling percussion rhythms, haunted Veils styled vocals and winding guitars wretch out feeling, bemusement and heart, ‘Becomes The Hunted’. Indie eeriness gives the track a chilling edge, as the rustic Draw Me Stories reel off a good line in meandering bemusement. Before the tempo picks up and the vocals of Carl Hodgetts’, take on a slightly animated feel. This is for the benefit of those who crave a bit of urgency in their indie.

‘Oars’, gives this cosmopolitan outfit a more jangly disco toe, featuring a hypnotic, sliding guitar backdrop that lends a Turin Brakes edge to the second half of this stirring double A side. The vocals linger more, as they deliver thoughtful poetic lyrics. Stirring knocking percussion and slow winding guitar interludes, provides the pause for needed thought between the engaging vocal snippets. Draw Me Stories are on a mission to ensure that serious indie types are not lonely this summer. - Comfort Comes

"Oars & Becomes The Hunted – Draw Me Stories"

On latest double side single 'Become The Hunted/On The Galley', Draw Me Stories sound like the folk/indie monster their previous publications have hinted at. 'Become The Hunted' is drum driven, the frenzied, snare friendly drums of Samuel Souter pushing the song through all of its structures perfectly. Guitar and bass wise, the song perhaps suits its name perfectly, sounding dark and eerie but crashing down into a flurry as vocalist Carl Hodgetts sings "the hunter becomes the hunted" in a Bjórk like fashion somehow. Its more arty indie than folk but it is original and it works, hugely.

'Oars', much like 'Become The Hunted' is driven by the drums again but has more emphasis built around a folkier sounding guitar melody accompanied by intelligent bass playing. What really pulls Draw Me Stories away from the possible folk contemporaries that they may be compared to is their structure use, 'Oars' is particularly strange in its almost Youthmovies or Foals esque oxford guitar work mid song and also the wah wah pedal build up in the middle eight, it sounds like it shouldn't work and perhaps in many ways, it really shouldn't, but here, it really sounds fantastic.

On the strength of these two tracks alone, I am baffled that Draw Me Stories are unsigned. Sure, they perhaps wouldn't reach the dizzying heights of the nu-folk that is Mumford & Sons but I am pretty sure they'd give it a damn good try and wouldn't come far off. All we need from this three piece now, is a full length album as good as this to back me up! - God Is In The TV

"Oars & Becomes The Hunted – Draw Me Stories"

It’s been a couple of years since we reviewed Draw me Stories, and they are back with a loud and stimulating bang.

The band is made up of Carl Hodgetts, Mathieu Albasser and Samuel Souter, and these three friends have produced a very different sound to their previous EP, The Sky and The Mirror.

Different in a very good way, that is.

April 18, they release their brand new double A side, Oars & Becomes The Hunted consisting of, surprisingly, Become The Hunted, Oars and a couple of remixes. It’s worth the wait. The tracks are markedly grittier, more ominous, and reek of confidence.

Becomes the Hunted is thrashing, but similarly eerie. Lyrics such as ‘I want a medal and a prize today, but no audience and applause’ demonstrate its complexity rather nicely. It certainly has a somewhat paradoxical nature. In the first interview we did with the band, lead singer Carl commented that he quite likes ‘that you can have an energetic song with quite sinister undertones. It’s like, “Ooh, this makes me want to dance. But it also makes me want to cry…”’ Becomes The Hunted is exactly this. The subliminal moral messages with their lingering air of underlying gloom (‘the hunter becomes the hunted’), contrast strangely with the song’s ability to get you moving. Don’t skip this track.

Moving nicely along to Oars, the contrasts don’t die down.

Slightly mellower, Oars beautifully evolves into an intriguing relationship between almost military drums and calming yet commanding vocals, resulting later in a sort of…funkiness? Sound strange? It would appear to work rather brilliantly. Listen to the You Love her Coz She’s Dead remix featured on the EP, and it puts an entirely different spin on it. It may be more ‘out there’ but somehow seems less emotional. Text Taiwan’s version of Become the Hunted transforms the track into an ‘electro rave’ hit, creating another sound entirely.

There’s a marked shift from songs such as The You and Me Theatre and Heart Attack. They’re still just as honest, but they’ve somehow acquired a hardened edge. They may be comparable to ‘Radiohead on speed’, but they’re also more than that. They’re layered and intensifying, seasoned with complex lyrics. And they still make you want to dance. What more could you want from an ‘Alternative/Progressive/Folk Rock’ band?

They’re playing Cardiff’s Buffalo Bar on the 15th April alongside Young Rebel Set. Don’t miss out.

- Lia Martin - Journal of Plastik


Oars & Becomes The Hunted - Special Edition (2011, Glasstone Records) - notable airplay includes BBC Radio 6, Amazing Radio Track of the Week, La Grosse Radio (France)

The Sky and The Mirror EP (2009, Self-released) - notable airplay includes BBC Radio 6, Amazing Radio, The Wave Radio, Best of Myspace Podcast

The Plugged Sessions EP (2008, Self-released) - notable airplay includes BBC Radio One, BBC Bristol, Rock One (France)

The Unplugged Sessions LP (2008, Self-released) - notable airplay includes XFM, Nation Radio (Wales), The Waiting Room (USA)



If you do not know already, their tale is a curious one...

I heard that young Carl, the singer and guitarist, would often wander Cardiff’s lamplit streets alone, craving poetry and sounds. They say he would have totally succumb to malady had it not been for the genial French bassist, and fellow scholar, Mathieu. Atop his giant Alsatian, Mathieu assured Carl that a new musical collective could free their troubled minds.

Days later, sworn to their vision, the two stumbled across the tattered and soot-covered Samuel, who was, on all accounts, drumming for pennies outside the city library. Despite his poverty, the urchin’s waistcoat was brimming with rhythm – the world was his drum! The two watched him – transfixed - as they felt the final piece of the jigsaw slot into place. They picked him up from the curb, disclosed their vision, and embraced him as a brother.

I tell you, when they play, these three gents sound like a hundred marching men! Despite being steeped in tradition, their music pulls you down gloomy side streets, astrewn with thumping drums, haunting guitars and quivering voices. The name is an apt one too – pictures and colours pulsate from every song and the stories beneath them, each different, stretch and unfold as they are played. Press your ears to the walls, your feet to the floorboards, and feel the boom in your chest as ‘Draw Me Stories’ draw near.