Some Kind Of Illness LP

by Some Kind of Illness

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about

Emily Oldfield (Louder Than War)
This is music which lingers in the mind, with infectious acoustic melodies and lingering lyrics – pushing you into a fever of flowing ballads and reflections so bittersweet they almost blister. Some Kind of Illness you want to catch. Seriously.
SKOI consists of brothers Mark and Paul Hinks, originally formed in 1999 in Farnworth, gaining experience over the years both gigging in The North West and travelling abroad, including to America. Yet their music is not defined by place but could be seen as actually defying it; a point that their self-released album shows. ‘Some kind of Illness’ was released in August 2015, and provides what could be considered as a soundtrack for the flow of thought itself. The lack of drums and beautifully layered acoustic guitar throughout unlocks the power of Hinks’ lyrics – drawing on the importance of reflection rather than the raring rhythms which seem to drive so much of current culture. This is music which makes you think.
The ‘Test of Time’ eases you into the album with delicious synth echoes and gentle acoustic. The heartfelt lyrics appear a speculation on the future ‘There’ll be nightmares up ahead’, yet the music drains away the negativity – reassuring us that it’s okay to immerse ourselves in the sounds and sensations, rather than worry about what is to come. Through the music we are encouraged to consider our relationship with time; something we rarely stop to think about in the ‘busy-ness’ of modern life. We hurry around, so often thinking of the future, trends, feeds and updates. SKOI sound the importance of valuing past and present – packing meaning into short songs, yet completely without the sense of being rushed. This pace allows us to place more focus on the ups and downs of our day, our emotions, even our breathing. Truly meditative.
‘Angel Breakdown’ follows as a brilliantly ethereal and distant track, a sharp contrast to the intimacy of ‘Stars’, recorded with an intensity that you feel convinced you can hear the thumb striking the guitar strings. This is appropriate to the song too; as Paul muses ‘Is this the place for me and you’ suggesting that even the security of intimacy comes with its own questions. Things fluctuate, just like a fever or illness. Hearts flutter, notes scatter. We sense this in the later ‘My Shadow in the Maze’ which also features closely-recorded acoustic guitar, yet the strongest vocals on the album too; bold and bittersweet. Across the album we are invited to see the ups-and-downs of a voice through Hinks’ subtle symbolism woven into the words - ‘stare at the same frame but with different eyes’, emphasizing that this music is personal, not just a performance.
SKOI could be considered so infectious as they enter our deepest thoughts and give them a voice. Often ambient and minimalist, this is music which proves that we don’t exclusively need the repetitive combinations of drum and bass to best express the rhythms of modern-day. The almost sitar-like guitar sound at the start of ‘Maple Leaf’ plucks at our emotion, making us more acutely aware of those wavering sensations we are taught to hold back. Sometimes I found myself almost on the edge of tears, at other points smiling. This music really is like an illness, purging the body as it pulls us through emotional soundscape tinged with a delicious dark romanticism.
There are a few flickers of uncertainty along the way when you listen to the album as a whole; but this could be intentional. The pause between ‘The Light’ and ‘And Live’ jars the soundscape, but this is perhaps to emphasize the different between the metaphorical ‘Light’ and what it is to ‘Live’. There are layers to modern life and this is reflected through the careful constructing of layering throughout the album; layered guitars, textured vocals, sheets of synth and even haunting voice recordings as we hear in ‘Maple Leaf’. SKOI’s sound shows us the different layers to life and yes, that means uncertainty – but rather than the result of confused music, the Hinks brothers’ way to express this is through a finely crafted art. We can hear, feel, each individual layer, inviting us to reflect on what in life is constructed and what is real – and the traditional symbols within the album such as ‘angel’ ‘star’ and ‘shadow’ highlight how readily we construct concepts for things rather than consider reality. In this way, SKOI evoke depth, without being depressing.
The running time of the album is little over thirty minutes, leaving the listener with a kind of bittersweetness – craving more yet also savouring the succinctness of the songs. The final track ‘Fool Man Runaway’ opens with the dwelling notes of the acoustic guitar, tinged with the sound of dark but delicious drama not dissimilar to The Velvet Underground. Again, the audience are invited to feel the layers building, applied with paper-thinness towards the end, as delicate echoes fall like rain on canvas or electric static, interpret as you will. It could be nature, it could be instrument – both open up beauty. This is music which is unapologetic, open to expression, reflection and the pure enjoyment of sound and how it stirs our thoughts.
Reflection and infection is more than empting with Some Kind of Illness. Treat yourself to an album which invites you to listen to much more than just music – but to your own mind.

Flipside
SKOI's friendship with The Durutti Column's guitar-wielding lynchpin Vini Reilly is noticeable from the gently eddying opening bars of The Test Of Time. While Reilly himself isn't present on these recordings, his spirit and influence certainly are - songsmith Paul Hinks casts a crepuscular aura around his songs, most of which are wide-eyed melancholia most befitting a day on a deserted north-western beach or a day in bed with the curtains drawn shut. Its all-too-short running time is blissful stuff. Stars and The Light are gloom-drenched ballads to rival earlier works by Elbow, I am Kloot, Doves et al, but it's the pretty musical interludes that really hit the sweet spot. After just one earful of Maple Leaf, you'll be stopping what you're doing, slumping back in your seat and pressing repeat. Currently available from a minimal amount of outlets (including Bandcamp), make the effort to find the soundtrack to all seasons, not just the summer

Asbjorn Tobiassen
"beautiful stuff"

Ness Holt (Carpecarmina)
"A gently floating and atmospheric, hauntingly wistful soundscape..
languorous and peacefully soothing sonic depth and wonder"

Out In The Crowd (Liam McClair)
Some Kind Of Illness has a fantastic following, not opting for playing promoter nights they make their own nights. Hiring out Manchester Academy and selecting their favourite artists to support them. This tactic is becoming more and more popular and for the lads from Bolton it is certainly proving an effective one They released their debut album ‘Some Kind of Illness’ in August 2015 following their DIY attitude and since then it has been met with critical acclaim. The band consists of Paul and Mark Hinks and the duo has made a stunning album, it almost has a meditative nature to it. Soothing melodies intertwined with soft and deep lyrics.. It is an acoustic album but the use of samples and synthesisers create an atmospheric journey that has shades Beatles and The Verve and make it unlike any other acoustic album out there. The Test of Time uses delicate keys to add intrigue and brings the acoustic guitar to the forefront and builds up to the righteous lyrics that float in and take the track up to the next level. Angel Breakdown, Maple Leaf and Rush To Wait provide a surprising and refreshing contrast and allow the listener to cleanse their pallet ahead of another melodic and honest song. Stars, what a beautiful track, fit for summer strolls in the park with no worries and only love on your mind. The album flows naturally from track to track creating a intriguing journey for the listener. In The Light I hear elements of Arcade Fire, the open chords accompanied by Hinks’ gruff and honest voice combined with his candid lyrics keep you engaged and make you reflect. The duo from Bolton are making music unlike anything else I have heard, it is emotional and confident in its guitar melodies and not over reliant on lyrics you feel at ease listening to the soft and comforting tracks. You Have To Laugh highlights this perfectly a waltz rhythm with soft guitar riffs that slowly builds to calm the listener. My Shadow In The Maze has is a juxtaposition its melancholic and at the same time uplifting, caught between this you sail along the sorry river hearing the heartache and resolutions float by. The album concludes with Fool Man Runaway, a track that sounds as if it’s been found on an old cassette and untouched for years. Continuing the relaxing tone of the album you are treated to delicate keys that provide. This album is truly wonderful, I found myself wanting to hear it again and again. The natural flow takes you all the way through with ease and tranquillity conjuring pictures of mystery and intrigue as you go.

Mariano Andres Vasquez
"bellisima cancion"

Robert Fuse
"I'm getting Pink Floyd vibes..this is amazing"

Emmie Bielby
First class indie melancholic easy listening music from Manchester brothers
Having first picked up on Manchester’s Some Kind Of Illness, after a brief encounter with the five track digital album Stratus Dream, I was sure the openly expressive and romantic mesmerising sounds from brothers Paul and Mark Hinks wouldn’t end there. Some Kind Of Illness’s opener ‘The Test Of Time’ creates the perfect backdrop to a cinematic musical experience to which the listener can both engage with and let themselves drift away to the sounds of intricately plucked strings and heartfelt echoing melodies. On the same note, ‘Angel Breakdown’ continues on a similar level of delicacy but provides a refreshing contrast and gives the album some added depth. Lyrically the most beautiful track on the album, ‘Stars’ is an immediate thought provoking romantic ballad which would make an ideal summer walking companion, whilst one of the albums stronger tracks, and my personal favourite, ‘Maple Leaf’ layers together a host of instrumental interludes and it’s not just the bittersweet poetic vocals making you reach out for the repeat button; soothing majestic harmonies linger in your head minutes after the tracks finished and leave you feeling dreamful. The slightly heavier acoustic playing on ‘The Light’ invites some much needed space between the softer tones and gentle musical sections which have allowed the listener to so far daydream up worlds of dark romanticism and mystery. As with ‘And Live’, you instantly feel at complete ease, as you soak up the shimmering strings and harmonising grooves, before continuing on to ‘You Have To Laugh’ as it follows on in the same minimalist way with soft guitar riffs that fade out and welcome back the bolder acoustic work on ‘My Shadow In The Maze’ which also showcases some of the album’s best sombre yet uplifting and honest vocals, allowing it to flourish into a track worthy of being played more than once. Echoing notes open up ‘Rush To Wait’ and is rather refreshing as it progressively develops into the album’s concluding track ‘Fool Man Runaway’ that’s drowns itself in haunting tones, and die-away whispers, there’s beauty here in heaps, with infectious guitar effects and inspiring melodic twists to leave the listener craving more of their meditative melancholic fix. There’s a definite sense of mysterious aura and it’s difficult to fault such an effortlessly simple yet almost perfect blend of first class melancholic easy listening music; with emotive air light vocals and delicate synths, it becomes more than just an acoustic album and one that’s not to be missed. In Some Kind Of Illness, the Hinks brothers have managed to create an album that easily allows it’s listeners to switch off, unwind and escape through a hauntingly atmospheric journey of beauty and calm tranquillity.

Janos Birahi Andersson
"beautiful melodies"

U&I review (Ireland)
"romantic and moving ..the perfect album to kick back and switch off too"

The Manc Review
With its opening acoustic strums, and illuminated synths, “The Test of Time” sleepwalks through dusky woods, amongst the fireflies and whispering trees. It’s an exquisite.track, whose spacious intro allows the pensive sentiments of the song to seep through the shadows and reflect against the flickers of twilight. Lyrically wistful ”The Test of Time” conveys a haunting beauty which is encapsulated through the unravelling soundscape. Through the quivering synths, brooding drones and spectral vocals, ”The Test of Time”s perplexity is crystallized and fades to a dark abyss.
Through the cinematic inserts, fluttering riffs and spacious intervals, “Some Kind of Illness” is a purveyor of dark romanticism that opens its wounds against the stripped down acoustics. An emotionally fuelled solo act, “Some Kind of Illness” is fronted and produced by Paul Hinks. An enigmatic singer, Hinks is a talented songwriter, whose Roddy Frame-esque tones evoke a deep sense of melancholy and sorrow. As a songwriter, Hinks delves deep, whilst simultaneously being cryptic and with a sense of child-like wonder.
“Some Kind of Illness” has released his self-titled EP, which is available via Itunes and Bandcamp. A mesmerising EP, “Some Kind of Illness” lies in the shadows, whilst projecting prisms of light. Think a sedated Mercury Rev, meets David Lynch meets I am Kloot, then you are on the right tracks. It’s a nocturnal catharsis, whose elongated synths create an eerie and transcendental ambiance. It’s a great EP, which drones, broods and captivates, whilst sending you an intimate invite to the depths of its soul.
Taken from the EP, the opening track “The Test of Time” is has been selected as My Single of Week.
With its opening acoustic strums, and illuminated synths, “The Test of Time” sleepwalks through dusky woods, amongst the fireflies and whispering trees. It’s an exquisite.track, whose spacious intro allows the pensive sentiments of the song to seep through the shadows and reflect against the flickers of twilight. Lyrically wistful ”The Test of Time” conveys a haunting beauty which is encapsulated through the unravelling soundscape. Through the quivering synths, brooding drones and spectral vocals, ”The Test of Time”s perplexity is crystallized and fades to a dark abyss.

Dah
"really calming nostalgic feel"

Lear Lake
"so full of feeling

Binary Icon
"great vision"

Julia's Review Blog (Germany)
Today it's your chance to discover a new band: Some Kind Of Illness.
They are an Indie band from the North of England consisting of the brothers Paul and Mark Hinks.
The sound of their self-titled album is ambient, relaxing and calm. Some parts remind me of meditation music whilst some others are a bit more uptempo (really just a bit) with more guitar sounds and rhythm, but still unwinding. The long instrumental parts during the songs are calming and the mystic vocals give the songs a special touch.
The album in full is a harmonious record, that feels like a book with different chapters, but one whole story to tell. It's one to listen to when having a cosy time on the sofa or in bed with a hot chocolate (or another hot beverage).
Listening to the album I soon found a favourite in Shadow in the Maze. It's a beautiful, elegant ballad and reminds me a little bit of Kodaline's early songs.

Tom Welsh (Northern Noise)
"beautiful ethereal music"

Lizzie Taypen
"so beautiful"

Angela Live Blog Life (Ireland)
Some Kind of Illness is a darkly romantic album with a juxtaposed melancholic yet inspiring sound. M83 and The 1975 are just a few of the bands I could compare.
It may be an acoustic album but synthesisers are used throughout. Notably on the tracks Maple Leaf and Angel Breakdown the use of samples brings a certain depth to the album.
The first track 'The Test of Time' is a wonderful prelude to the album ahead. It sets the scene for an atmospheric and cinematic album.
While almost all of the tracks have a melancholic feel they somehow have their own unique sound. 'You Have To Laugh' has an almost psychedelic sixties sound overlayed by an acoustic guitar. 'The Shadow in The Maze' is the perfect mood setter. Feel romance and love and everything at once while listening to this track.
Some Kind Of Illness as a whole depends on its sound rather than its lyrics to get its point across. It manages to do that and so much more. Some Kind of Illness evokes emotion and inspires so much from within. Listen to this album if you want to sit back. Listen to this album on walks down lonely alleyways. Listen to this album as you lay in bed and trace shapes on your lovers bare skin. I have never listened to an album similar to this.
Some Kind Of Illness are creating something different that needs to be heard.

The Musings Of Oceanicblue
"This Manchester trio treat us to first class lyrics, sublime harmonies and amazing guitar arrangements"

Arnaud Tranquil
"beautiful musical poetry"

Musically Fresh (London)
Some Kind Of Illness, the self-titled album from the Bolton/Manchester based Indie act of the same name, was released in 2015. On a personal note, the album is possibly the most beautiful thing I’ve listened to in a long while and is perhaps the soundtrack to pondering life itself.
The acoustic theme of the album is so delicately combined with soft singing and a mix of added effects, it’s as if you’re floating on a cloud or running through a meadow in the middle of summer. It’s hauntingly brilliant, and a little bit lovely.
Think Newton Faulkner on a sad day, Bob Dylan being a bit happy, The Cure on Heroin instead of Cocaine, this album is chilled out, calm, and mellow. Incredibly complex, but minimalist at the same time in it’s abstract beauty, every song continuously echoes throughout, making you think rather than dance and I love that.
Track one, ‘The Test of Time’ invites you into the album, opening with soft delicate vibes via pretty Synth-work, it’s alluring, and sounds like the sea. Next, the fluttering guitar sneaks in and the vocals begin to echo, suiting the lusciously placed lyrics.
Track two, the short and sombre ‘Angel Breakdown’, is thoroughly thought provoking, with strange a but subdued vocal-sample, as well as soft and delicate acoustics, you can literally get lost in this track. The lack of vocals fits so perfectly with the Synths in the background, that if you were walking and listening to this at the same time, you’d probably forget where you were going.
‘Stars’ follows and echoes beautifully and could easily be a Bob Dylan song. ‘Forget your days in a better life‘ is almost a subliminal message – ‘you lost your way and you’re seeing stars‘ – this is exactly what’s happening while this is playing. It would fit perfectly into a cliche romance film. It’s sad, but not depressing, a truly heartfelt track, with strong vocals unseen so far, and even though the songs sound the same, they are very different at the same time.
Track Four, ‘Maple Leaf’, really reminds me of ‘Little Trouble Girl’ by Sonic Youth. The twangs of the guitar send all kinds of feelings through you. The beat is heavier than before and the almost “creepy child” voice is created so perfectly and brings sentiments we can all relate to. This is so different to everything else and exactly what modern music is lacking – pure creativity & individuality.
Track five, ‘The Light’, sounds like heartache. It’s catchy tune and light vocals complement each other well, with the pace also picking up, creating a needed balance half way through. ‘And Live’, showcases the same calm Synth-work & acoustics we’ve seen so far, but it’s weird vocal ramblings make it interesting and somewhat mind boggling.
Track seven, ‘You Have To Laugh’, takes on the same kind of melody as the other songs, it’s harmonic, almost sitar like, perfect if you need to forget life and hide away for a little while.
My personal favourite, ‘My Shadow In Maze’, is haunting, reminding me of ‘It’s Not Dark Yet’ by Bob Dylan. ‘I lost my shadow in a maze’ is probably a feeling we can all relate to, falling in love and losing love at the same time. This track really shows the quality of the lyrics, perfectly written and beautifully sung. ‘And I finally made it out’, a line which brings comfort, telling you there is always light at the end of the tunnel, or a way out of the maze, if you will.
The penultimate number, ‘Rush To Wait’, is calm, relaxed, and almost bluesy, while the last track, ‘Fool Man Runaway’, is full of echoes that send all kinds of chills because this is emotion, this is thought.
These are lovely songs with no bullshit quite frankly, just harmony. A perfect end to a wonderful album. This is flawless beauty, creativity in it’s most simple form. To be honest, the album art itself sums it up.

Vini Reilly (Durutti Column)
"Genius ..calming beautiful, real music"

Square Wave Review
An atmospheric soundtrack makes the ideal backdrop for Paul Hinks’ deep and simultaneously cryptic lyrics, which can be heard throughout the self-titled debut album, Some Kind of Illness.
With self-proclaimed influences from the likes of The Verve and The Cure, this Manchester based indie trio’s sound has previously been described as “calming” and “beautiful” by friend and guitarist from The Durutti Column, Vini Reilly, as well as The Verve‘s former guitarist, Nick McCabe.
Fellow band members, Mark Hinks and Will Cairns, both join singer-songwriter, Paul Hinks, to master a series of acoustic songs on the album, which all seamlessly captivate the listener. Whether you’re relaxing on a rainy Monday morning with the curtains shut tight or a hazy summer’s afternoon in the garden, each and every track will make you sit back and unwind, ready to subconsciously hit replay as soon as the final track Fool Man Runaway draws to a peaceful close.
Maple Leaf instantly became a personal favourite during the first listen. The pure and innocent sounding vocals from Daisy Davies accompanied by a chilled instrumental provide a rush of nostalgia and feeling of warmth.
My Shadow In The Maze is a highlight too, in which meaningful lyrics are grouped with gloomy-sounding vocals and an acoustic guitar.
While they all carry their own individual focus, minimalism appears to be the main feature of all ten tracks – whether it’s the few beats heard within And Live, the minimal instruments used in Stars, or the lack of lyrics apparent after the fairly intense intro to the shortest track, Angel Breakdown.
This repeated pattern simply intensifies each individual track and allows the listener to fully appreciate the mix of eerie, haunting, uplifting and dream-like vibes they’re being presented with.
The unsigned trio hope to see themselves touring the world in ten years’ time. With a fair few gigs and a series of radio plays under their belts, as well as the release of this stunning debut album, that dream doesn’t seem unreachable at all. Some Kind of Illness are definitely a band to keep an eye on.

Steph Sweet
This is easily going to be one of the stand-out albums of the summer. The crystal clear production really brings the sound of this band to the fore, combining beautiful, warm, rich layers of guitars with strong lead vocals and emphasizing a psychedelic wistfulness that shimmer through all of the songs.
There is a classic timelessness to this excellent album, sometimes cinematographic and haunting, while at other times filling with a wistfulness and dreamlike quality that entralls the listener, pulling them into an unfolding and captivating chimera of glossy sound.
Stars is one of these classic tunes and one which could easily have been penned by a paisley-shirted Syd Barrett or Nick Drake, just popping round to borrow an acoustic to play in the garden. Smooth opening chords drift into lilting melodies that carry the song and really shows off the band’s truly excellent song-writing and musicianship.
Highly recommended and ten out of ten gentlemen!

Rock Britain (Russia)
"So beautiful that you instantly fall in love and so heartbreaking that it hurts – that’s the music Some Kind Of Illness make. Their debut, self-titled album is full of ambient melodies, striking instrumentation and hypnotising vocals. In the time when so many bands try to be as loud and brash as possible, Some Kind Of Illness tone it down to luxurious calmness and elegant sophistication which sticks in your memory"

Emma Cairman
"beautifully sweet - moody - sad"

Soundwaves Review
I recently came across a band who are making some very original music. The Manchester band,”Some Kind of Illness”, was formed by two brothers, Mark and Paul Hinks. Their debut album is brilliant and reminds me a bit of Pink Floyd in parts with the melodic sound and the voice-over parts on some of the songs. The album is made up 10 tunes that will take you on a relaxing journey with ambient, chill-out music.

Unamae
"lovely"

Plastic Inevitable (California)
Some Kind of Illness', the digital album from the Manchester-based Indie band of the same name, pokes it's head out and blossoms into the loveliest of loveliness. 'The Test of Time' glitters with sparkling acoustic guitars and exquisitely detailed synth-work accompanied by sombre vocals, before 'Angels Breakdown' begins. An emotive monologue, accompanied delicately by more synths, melts into another gorgeous soundspace - tethered to the earth by some tasteful electric guitar.
'Stars' follows, and is a highlight of the album. Mellow guitar work provides the harmony to a touching ballad, delivered impeccably by male vocals. After, the album continues to unfold, 'Maple Leaf ft. Daisy Davies' features the voice of a young Northern Lady delivering a touching rendition of an uplifting poem and 'The Light' is another well-grounded song, with touches of folk tradition and splatterings of jangling open strings.
'Some Kind of Illness' create a certain kind of beauty, and the rest of the album is yours, to have and to hold, and to explore at your own pace. Peace.

Imaginary Landmarks
"beautiful"

Little Indie Night
If there ever was an album to listen to in a relaxing bath or to just escape reality this is it. SKOI's mission here was simple, to take us on a journey. The light and shade of the songs provide the backdrop and the lyrics throughout provide the listeners with the narrative. The album fed my imagination and overall, it was a great listen with its emotional vocals and well spaced instrumental interludes.

The Tropical Fringe (South Africa)
Some Kind of Illness make music that forces you to think and to feel. Hinks’ lyrics open your mind to a world of the importance of time, of the past, the present and the future and the underlying acoustic guitar allows you to fall deep into the unconsciousness of thought. This band could easily play at Yours Truly while we sip on G&T’s and consider our days and our lives.
My favourite track of their self-titled album is Rush to Wait. It has a certain haunting calmness to it, and the title is the perfect fit for the melody that unfollows. We all rush out just to wait around for a friend, a S/O, a drink, a laugh.

Power Of Pop (Singapore)
It has taken a while for Some Kind of Illness to release their debut full length album but it’s definitely worth the wait! Consisting of brothers Mark and Paul Hinks, SKOI encapsulates a myriad of genres that have captured the lovers of indie-alternative rock for decades.
Whether it be psychedelic folk or dream pop or classic 60s/70s British folk (think: Nick Drake, Fairport Convention), the brothers deliver their atmospheric guitar-based music with some aplomb. Even though there are no drums whatsoever, that artistic decision never gets in the way of enjoying these wondrous meditative slices of heaven.
The perfect example of what can be done when artists free themselves from the need to be commercial and allow their creative impulses free rein.

Senka Music (Bosnia)
Soothing sounds of Some Kind Of Illness with the raw voice of the singer makes this album a worthy listen. Emotional lyrics accompanied by other worldly, dreamy, sometimes even ghostly music, represent the debut album as an important development of the band itself. What makes this band stand out is the apparent simplicity, yet an melancholic impact to the listener.

KMS Music Blog
Sometimes you hear something that sounds just very familiar. Like the tune you used to hear when you were a kid, hanging with your girl. Or that song that came up yesterday on the radio. Or this tune you hear when recognizing that old record store you used to spend all your money. You know when this happens, right? Only when the music is done with passion.
“Some Kind Of Illness” is a british band founded around 1999, and they do some very authentic acoustic slow rock since then. Having gained a lot of experience over those last years, they recently came up with their ten track album on bandcamp which includes “The Light”, a song which caught my attention because of the way it’s played. The great thing about the way it’s played and sung is that you actually feel what the brothers Mark and Paul Hinks are trying to transmit to you as a listener. I always enjoy when something doesn’t only reach my ears but triggers an emotion in any way. In this case, it’s done by a minimalistic mixture of guitar layering combined with serveral vocal tracks. This results in something smooth, something authentic. You won’t find sixty layered synths here, no fat bass or flat mixed drums. And that’s what’s making it real: no room for playing a role with this kind of music. Listening to other tracks of “Some Kind Of Illness” I realized that the secret ingredient to their music is just that – no gimmicks. Just passion. Feeling. Those guys not only know what they are doing, they FEEL what they’re doing. And from this point on, it doesn’t get any better. I’ve heard so much artists over the years who are all about the technique but not about the feeling. But those guys are different in a refreshing and great way.
If you’re having some spare time and are in the mood (key component people, the music is mostly melancholic and needs that environment to be played), I strongly suggest you check out their other work on bandcamp or soundcloud. You’ll find guitars, warm voices and sometimes even a touch of synth tracks involved. Most importantly, you’ll find peace of mind for a couple of minutes.

Sonic Reverb (Ireland)
We would like to introduce you to Some Kind Of Illness, an alternative indie duo from Farnworth who self released their eponymous debut album just last August.
Brothers Mark and Paul Hinks have spent years playing gigs, recording music together and with others, gaining all the experience they needed when they reformed as a two piece to put together their first full length effort. Packed with a long crafted maturity, the album features atmospheric guitar tracks and washes a gut-wrenching intensity over you for the duration of the listening experience - and it really is an experience, a piece of work that should be taken in as a whole, not just the odd track here and there.
Some Kind Of Illness opens with The Test of Time, an example of their musical craftsmanship, they can convey everything they need to say with just a guitar track and soft vocals, creating a wistful, wide, open soundscape. The duality of their music feeling both dreamy and like a voice of the reality inside of us exposes a unique quality and skill of the band. Proving their songwriting talents, a personal favourite track on the album, Stars is a gentle piece coupled with honest lyrics - questioning, "Is this the place for me and you?" - Stars is sure but unsure, almost an escape, reminiscent of early works by Elbow and Pink Floyd, musical poetry.
The Light continues to show off what the band seem to do best, a gloomy ballad almost the soundtrack to our daydreams. You might sit in your seat for ten minutes in a complete other world after hearing this, not registering that the music has stopped, and just be caught up in your own thoughts. That's not a bad thing by any means. One of the best aspects of music, especially collections like this, is the ability to confront your own thoughts and feelings in the comfort of somebody else's. If that's the kind of thing you're looking for, Some Kind Of Illness are worth checking out - you'll find yourself drifting in and out of your own mind with the relaxing but equally thought provokingly disturbing ten track LP.

Rhythm Endlessly (USA)
This is a fresh and interesting take on acoustic music that’s genuinely surprised me, both in terms of quality and originality. These tracks, performed by the Bolton/Manchester-based duo of Paul and Mark Hinks, are enormously atmospheric and brimming with tangible emotion. All in all, it’s a refreshing piece of work, It’s my pleasure to give a track-by-track review of Some Kind of Illness’ self-titled album, released in August 2015.
THE TEST OF TIME – 8/10 – I’m immediately and forcefully reminded of Modern English’s I’ll Melt With You. The vocals here are deep, haunting, and reverberating, echoing in one’s mind even after the track has ended. Guitar licks and swirling vocal layers leave a happy-sad taste in one’s mouth. The instrumentation is not unlike that of popular alt-folk phenomenon Daughter (comparison meant in all the best ways).
ANGEL BREAKDOWN – 8/10 – The first sixty seconds of this track serve as an almost inspirational monologue concerning the nature of the golden rule: treat others as you want to be treated. And according to the speaker, it works. It then evolves into a soft guitar-driven interlude, setting a peaceful stage for Track 3.
STARS – 9/10 – Slow and emotive suits this duo incredibly well, I’m finding. “Is this the place for me and you?” the duo asks repeatedly, inquiring into the strength of a relationship that hasn’t yet run its course. Doubting a close romantic before it’s come to fruition is a dangerous game, and the lyrics inspire instant empathy. Devoid of percussion, it’s touching, and also profoundly relaxing.
MAPLE LEAF (FEAT. DAISY DAVIES) – 7/10 – Well, if this isn’t just the cutest thing. Hollow wood-block percussion surrounds a sweet guitar melody as a young girl (supposedly the titular Daisy Davies) declares “I think of my best friend and the way she smiles”. The sugary rhythm fades pleasantly into Track 5.
THE LIGHT – 9/10 – Entirely string-focused, this is the band’s strongest lyrical effort so far, and undeniably romantic: “She’s the sweetest thing I found”, the duo sings, and then, heart-broken: “You said you’ve seen the light / Don’t see it anymore”. It’s the tale of a candle snuffed out too soon, perhaps a thematic sequel to Track 3. The guitar becomes briefly frantic near the three-minute mark, intensifying the sense of loss.
AND LIVE – 7/10 – This track is a soothing instrumental interlude with non-English speech sprinkled throughout. Strings are plucked delicately and intricately.
YOU HAVE TO LAUGH – 8/10 – Starting out with wobbling string production, this is easily the most intriguing of the album’s instrumental tracks, its auditory devices onomatopoeic and worthy of nostalgia.
MY SHADOW IN THE MAZE – 9/10 – “Seeing my world crash down and my life flash by” is the first lyric here, leaving traces of strong, tragic metaphors inside one’s mind. It’s the worst possible ending to a lost love; the narrator can’t forget his counterpart, and loses himself in the process of trying. It’s bittersweet and remorseful, but utterly beautiful.
RUSH TO WAIT – 8/10 – This is a looming and atmospheric gem, certainly a suitable penultimate track here. The guitar, while still present, is hardly the focus; instead, a series of haunting, descending tones walk the listener through the darkness.
FOOL MAN RUNAWAY (FEAT. CAOILHFIONN ROSE) – 9/10 – The echo pedal is used expertly on this swelling, vocally ambient closer, as are the understated guitar licks gently pushing the rhythm along. This album ends enigmatically and touchingly: raindrops.
SOME KIND OF ILLNESS (FULL ALBUM) – 8.2/10 – This vocally and instrumentally sound duo’s self-titled album is a calm, restrained, and ultimately rewarding landscape of love and loss. I wouldn’t be surprised if I found myself coming back to it soon; each track is individually thought-provoking, and as a thematic whole, this album is well worth its brief runtime spent listening, thinking, and learning.

Ringmaster Review
Recently British band Some Kind of Illness signed with Manchester record label Valentine Records. It seems they had been looking at the band for a while and eager to have them join their already potent roster which includes the likes of St Jucifer and Ten Mouth Electron. Listening to the band’s self-titled debut album, it is easy to hear why. The release is a collection of indie guitar sculpted songs aligned with reverberant tone and emotively resonating ambience with the quality of being a quick persuasion but also slow burners in revealing the fullness of their heart bred depths; a mix which simply endears itself to ears and attention.
Hailing from the Bolton/Manchester area of the UK, Some Kind of Illness is the creation of and centred round the Hinks brothers, Paul and Mark. Emerging almost two years ago exactly, the band took little time in luring potent attention with their quickly praised live presence. Last year saw the band play in excess of 100 shows taking in venues such as Manchester Club Academy, Manchester Academy 3, Night And Day Cafe, The Roadhouse, The Ritz, Band On The Wall, The Cavern, and The Zanzibar as well as playing support to the likes of ex-Inspiral Carpets frontman Tom Hingley, The Jackals, and Pink Mountain Tops. That time has also seen the band record demos with Durutti Column’s Vini Reilly who has become a friend and strong supporter of the band and the release of first EP Stratus Dream which featured Luna from Birmingham band PQLYR. The self-released Some Kind Of Illness album was released in the latter part of 2015 but with the band signing to Valentine and a new chapter opening up for them it never does any harm to remind of the kind of treats which has drawn such potent steps in their emergence.
From album opener, The Test of Time, ears are hugged and caressed and thoughts nudged. In the dawning of a warm atmospheric caress, a melody winds its tender way around the senses with keys subsequently entangling with similarly enticing acoustic guitar. It is a mesmeric affair only enhanced by the expressive and distinctive vocals as well as the ebbing and flowing of the charming yet unpredictable ambience soaking all. It is a great start revealing the template of things to come; of the warm melodic enterprise, vocal reflection, and emotive explorations from band and the listener’s own imagination.
Some Kind of Illness cast an experience which leaves you feeling chilled yet also coaxes thoughts into exploring more imposing emotional shadows in sound and tone as with the following Angel Breakdown. An instrumental with a sampled vocal piece, the song suggests and incites with its melancholic air and sultry melodies, stirring up imagination and appetite simultaneously before the just as blue and evocative Stars involves ears in its sorrowful yet hopeful croon. Both songs captivate, a quality fuelling the whole of the album and through the more exotic yet intimate landscape of Maple Leaf which features Daisy Davies, who presumably is the child charming ears within the track’s bewitching instrumental.
The Light transfixes next with its Verve like scent; And Live matching its success with its sombre beauty before You Have To Laugh casts the listener upon a floating raft of melodic cheer and harmonic smiles. Each are individual suggestive temptations, songs, especially the last, that border on meditative as they escort the listener towards the absorbing intimate contemplation of My Shadow In The Maze and in turn the woven wrap of light and shadows that is Rush To Wait.
It is hard not to be absorbed by each and the whole of the album which is completed by Fool Man Runaway with Manchester bred Caoilfhionn Rose guesting. It is a final sigh of emotion, a last kiss of melodic poetry which, as the Some Kind of Illness album, leaves a lingering and warm yet maudlin glow which lures ears back to the release time and again. That is a success easy to reward with attention, something we suspect that the band’s link up with Valentine Records and a second album later in 2016 will inspire much more of ahead.

Subculture Magazine
The indie acoustic genre isn’t always the most marketable given how hard it is for an artist to really prove themselves in amongst a sea of hipster clones, but the gorgeously poetic tranquility of Manchester duo Some Kind Of Illness‘ eponymous debut album manages this and more.
Originating in Farnworth in 1999 and consisting of brothers Mark and Paul Hinks, Some Kind Of Illness have had quite the jam-packed schedule over the past year having played over a hundred gigs in 2015 alone across the north of England, some of which included sell out headline shows at Manchester Club Academy, The Roadhouse and The Ritz. It wasn’t until August of last year, however, that they finally released an LP, though it’s safe to say the result was more than worth the wait.
Blending gentle guitars with echoing, melancholy vocals, their music can only be described as something out of a woodland daydream or a reflective brood at dusk. It’s peaceful and cinematic as much as it is aching and emotive, and should have you slipping blissfully into its poignantly introspective journey within seconds of the opening track.
It’s true, some of the musical interludes may be nothing more than minimalistic ambience for the ears, but when the ballads enter they’re able to get right in under your skin and conjure up emotions in such a way that you may well end up feeling just as drained as you do at peace by the album’s end. ‘Stars’, for example, is a touchingly intimate song about lovers in doubt, while ‘The Light’ describes a once burning relationship having been snuffed too soon. Their music may suggest a mind free from disturbance, but their lyrics definitely indicate otherwise.

Jolly Symphony
Today it’s your chance to discover a new band: Some Kind Of Illness.
They are an Indie band from the North of England consisting of the brothers Paul and Mark Hinks.
The sound of their self-titled album is ambient, relaxing and calm. Some parts remind me of meditation music whilst some others are a bit more uptempo (really just a bit) with more guitar sounds and rhythm, but still unwinding. The long instrumental parts during the songs are calming and the mystic vocals give the songs a special touch.
The album in full is a harmonious record, that feels like a book with different chapters, but one whole story to tell. It’s one to listen to when having a cosy time on the sofa or in bed with a hot chocolate (or another hot beverage).
Listening to the album I soon found a favourite in Shadow in the Maze. It’s a beautiful, elegant ballad and reminds me a little bit of Kodaline’s early songs.

Both Bars On
Losing your shadow, now you’re seeing stars, then I talk to my best friend, and I finally made it out. A beautiful album

Rated Sound
With its drifting melodies and well-blended harmonies, Some Kind of Illness’s self-titled album is the kind of music you listen to on a quiet Sunday morning, bundled under your favourite quilt with a hot cup of tea.
Brothers Mark and Paul Hinks, of Farnworth UK, are joined by Tom Welsh of Chorley, to create the minimalist album, whose tracks are brief yet extremely engaging. Each track provides the listener the opportunity to turn inward, and reflect on matters of the heart with a soundtrack that evokes emotion.
Ethereal in feel, deep in reflection and a stellar example of production quality, Some Kind of Illness is beautifully created. The lack of percussion gives the guitar and keyboards a chance to open the space of time, and fill it with waves of melody that sound and feel much larger than they actually are. It’s the kind of music that makes you think of romantic strolls in the garden or on the beach; of cosy nights under star filled skies and with your lover by your side and your future straight ahead.
Described as “haunting, atmospheric and wistful” the sound-scape is reminiscent of more well-known artists such as Band of Horses, My Morning Jacket, Fleet Foxes and Bon Iver, without being copy-catish in any way, SKOI’s tracks are infused with sounds of love, light, journey and soul. The duo acoustic guitars joined by synthed and flowing dream-like atmospheric chords are the perfect opportunity to take a break from the day-to-day and lose yourself in a dreamscape of music.

Sounds Familiar
Atmospheric and beautiful.

Mancunia Rebel
70s Nostalgia, psychedelic tints with soulful rawness. For a second we felt like we were at Woodstock, I could take lots of acid to this.
Some Kind of Illness album is quite exhilarating, melodic yet repetitive in places not necessarily a bad thing. If you want to be taken back to another time listen to this album.

Love Of The Music (Canada)
From the very first note of this bands music they had me hooked. From calming melodies to vocals that couldn’t fit more perfectly to the music. Every song features beautiful acoustic guitar melodies and soft vocals that leave the listener feeling mellow and relaxed.
This band is a recent discovery for me and I certainly will be listening to way more of them.

Shake The Amp
This melodic charm comes from Some Kind of Illness, an alternative band from Farnworth.
Starting off quietly before the sound gently increases, The Test of Time is a brilliant way to open the record. Its soft sound from the acoustic guitar, light synth and low-fi vocals is mesmerising.
The track slowly fades out and into Angel Breakdown. There’s spoken voice at the beginning of this second song which I think has been used perfectly. It makes you think, and then the calming instrumental gives you time to contemplate those thoughts.
Stars has tonnes of emotion. It’s utterly beautiful. The following track, Maple Leaf, has a more intriguing instrumental but is equally as delicate. From the gentle beat to the plucks of guitar strings, listening to this feels like your dreaming.
Each number simply flows into the next. Going back to what I said about this album being timeless, I think Some Kind Of Illness is a great soundtrack for summer, winter and everything in between.
Acoustic guitar plays a huge part in conveying emotion through the LP, as it compliments the soft vocals, but this is especially significant on The Light. This track is more mellow and it’s subtleness surprisingly makes the emotion feel stronger.
This calm tone is continued through to You Have To Laugh. The few tracks without lyrics are completely open to interpretation. I found myself getting lost in the music and just falling in love with the simplicity.
The extremely raw tone of Fool Man Runaway closes the record on a somewhat darker note. But it’s no less elegant than any other track.
Some Kind Of Illness is a stunning album that I don’t think you could tire of listening too. It takes you on a journey through your mind. Incredible.

Sonic Bandwagon
Consisting of brothers Mark and Paul Hinks, Some Kind of Illness have created the sort of album that has opened my eyes to something completely new that is hard not to fall in love with. It’s hard to pinpoint but it’s very atmospheric and cinematic sounding like part of a film score (which it actually is to an independent film maker in Stockport). The ethereal and submissive style of music has been described by the brothers themselves as “wondrous meditative slices of heaven.” This is the sort of album that epitomises what Sonic Bandwagon are all about – the discovery of something completely new and different that in turn makes you discover something about your yourself.

Movie Montage (Right Girl Wrong Time)
This album is a work of art. Whether you're listening on a bright sunny day, or curled up in the warmth while it rains, the album will take you to your own movie world where you can make anything possible. Listen to this once and you'll be transported to a land of heartbreak and acceptance. If you are going through tough times or just need to think things through, there is a song on this album that will fit the mood. Whatever "illness" you are trying to cope with and recover from at the time, this will guide you through

credits

released August 18, 2015

All songs by SKOI
Artwork by Caoilfhionn Rose Birley
Recorded in Farnworth UK
2014

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Some Kind of Illness Manchester, UK

Some Kind of Illness are an alternative indie band from Farnworth in the UK

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