Thursday, 11 February 2016

A Couple Of Good Ones: The Plaidians - Thelma Ball

The Plaidians - Lights Out.

Background promo - ‘Lights Out for the Boy’  is a significant collaborative recording project featuring two of Melbourne’s artists of music in the form of The Plaidians. Gaz and JP have been co-writing music for many years and have established the kind of rare connection that has helped them carve out their own idiosyncratic niche. 

Following on from the success of their first single release “The Follower” in September 2015, The Plaidians are now releasing their debut album ‘Lights Out for the Boy’. 

Their album is a flavour of pop that is both unique and familiar: fully formed and thoughtful in a way that is surprising from a duo that is new to the indie scene. The Plaidians have presented ten tracks that offer a charming blend of rock and pop, even folk, with strings, guitars, vintage synths, and signature gritty vocals. 

JP said: “Much of this album was about challenging ourselves; seeing what was really possible. We wanted to create something that brought together all of our varying and often conflicting influences where we could really define ourselves. For us, this album definitely captures that feeling of self-discovery.” 

The album is being released along with the title track “Lights Out”. Initially sweet and engaging, “Lights Out” takes you down a melodic path that switches to a dark and pulsing groove with an eerie, infectious chant. The song tells the story of a mother who medicates her over-active son; reflecting on the guilt, selfishness and the side effects of psychotropic drugs on children.

We featured the first single back last September and it's great to know the new album will be released later this month on the 26th February. The title track is yet but another small taste of what is a really fine album.


Thelma Ball - Self Help.

Background - Michael from the band contacted Beehive Candy and had this to say "I just read your review on Darla and the Blonde because we're playing with them soon".

From the bands Facebook page we also learn - Thelma Ball are a four piece from Lincolnshire/London who have put together one tasty musical BLT sandwich.

The bread and butter of Nirvana, the salty bacon of The Strokes, the crispy lettuce of Mac DeMarco and of course those Jeff Buckley influenced juice balls of tomatoes.

'Self Help' is the title song from the three track EP. I like the bands own description of themselves and as BLT's go, all I would add is that there is clearly a layer of feisty and spicy sauce. The band may have a connection to another we have featured but it's their flavoursome music that gets them on here. I finish there as a thousand other awful puns are circulating in my head.


Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Good Ones: Draemhouse - Factory Brains

Draemhouse - Mr. Kerosene.

Background promo - Draemhouse began in 2014 as a bedroom recording outlet for former songwriter/guitar player, Chris Cheveyo of Rose Windows (Sub Pop).  After Rose Windows dissolved in  January of 2015,  Pat Schowe of whom also played in Rose Windows joined Draemhouse along with Emma Danner and Brock Carless.  The quartet then began rehearsing in March of that same year.  Playing renegade shows in living rooms, clothing shops, and underpasses throughout the Summer of 2015.  The band has gained a quick following for their dræmy sound and live fiber art installations by in-house visual artist/photographer Lauren Rodriguez.

The band released "Woundlicker" as a cassette single via the Blind Blind Tiger label out of Los Angeles to positive reviews in the Summer of 2015. Only Friends was recorded in Austin, Texas in 2014 at The Wonder Chamber by Justin Morris.  It was performed by Chris Cheveyo and some top notch musicians of Austin’s local scene.  It was mixed at Avast! Studios in Seattle, Wa by Justin Morris and assisted by Jon Roberts and Randall Dunn. Their new EP 'Only Friends', which is going to drop March 15th on Blind Blind Tiger.

From the four track 'Only Friends' EP, 'Kerosene' the final track can currently be downloaded free on Soundcloud, however I really do recommend checking out the other songs on what is for me, a really great selection of beautiful dream pop songs.


Factory Brains - Down The River.

Background promo - The Stockholm based band Factory Brains has in spite of their young age already made over 100 concerts. 100 concerts that has taken the band from the youth recreation centers, via blues festivals in small city Ängelsberg, to Stockholm for a gig with Graveyard, on to Gotheburg for an evening with Daniel Norgren and finally on tour as supporting act to Rival Sons - a Rival Sons who specifically requested the band as supporting act.

Factory Brains was founded in 2010 and had on their first album (Love like hours/Universal Records) close cooperation with Peo Berghagen who passed away way too early. The band created a reputation of being one of Sweden´s up and coming and most interesting rock bands, but without Peo things didn´t go as planned and Factory Brains days at Universal were numbered before they even began. For three 17 year old guys - who thought they´d signed off on guaranteed fame and success - this could have been the beginning of the end for the band. But instead of being disheartened the band called Janne Hansson and booked a session in Atlantis Studios to be able to start working on their second album Hard Labor. 

In order to perfect the recording with something a little extra they brought in Martin Hederos (TSOOL) and Henrik Wind to play keyboards and Chips Kiesbye (The Hellacopters, Michael Monroe, Millencollin) was called to produce all vocals. After finishing the recording the task of mixing a mastering was assigned to - in that regard a somewhat odd choice - Jens Borggren (Opeth/Paradise Lost). Choosing Jens to complete this task is something the band definitely don´t regret which the audience will be aware of when listening through Hard Labor.

Factory Brains new album 'Hard Labor' from which 'Down The River' is taken is due for release on the 19th February. The collection of songs are more rock than pop, with a definite 'Americana' feel running through some tracks. Overall it's a strong collection of songs, that could well appeal to anyone who enjoys bands as diverse as Wilco through to The Rolling Stones.


Midweek Alternative Take: Apothek - Luke Chable vs The New Division

Apothek - Waiting For The Thunder.

Background promo - “There’s a gap somewhere that used to be us” – an opening premise, and emotional wormhole that lies at the core of Apothek’s latest offering ‘Waiting For The Thunder’. As solemn as it is soaring, the track navigates space and time with pitch-bending poignancy. “It’s about distance, about travelling; the spaces and places we leave behind,” explains vocalist Morten Myklebust. The sentiment is skewed in “little glimpses of memory that warp the truth,” he says. “How absolutely everything is temporary.”

It follows Apothek’s acclaimed debut single ‘Family’ – a track earning the collective praise of The Sunday Times, The Line of Best Fit, Clash and Hillydilly; also catching the keen eye of Huw Stephens (BBC Radio 1), Mark Radcliffe, Stuart Maconie (BBC Radio 6music), Maz Tappuni (Radio X), Dani Charlton, Greg Porter (Amazing Radio) at UK radio and garnering support further afield via triple j (AUS), where the track was shortlisted for this year's Hottest 100.

Sonically speaking, ‘Waiting For The Thunder’ takes a darker turn to that of its budding predecessor. “It’s a bit icier and more distant than ‘Family’,” co-conspirator and producer Nils Martin Larsen concludes. “The first part of the track was the skating-on-ice kind of bass line that goes all over the place pitch wise, which felt kind of new. It’s also the first time we started experimenting with tuning of vocals which turned out to be a big part of the record,” he says.  

Following a UK/EU tour with pop wunderkind Susanne Sundfør, amidst their own London headline late last year, Apothek returned for a sold out show at London’s Hoxton Hall yesterday with Norwegian chart-toppers Highasakite. 

We featured Apothek a few months ago, however the new song 'Waiting For The Thunder' just grabbed my attention. It flows with great simplicity and yet there's so much going on, and the vocals just nailed it for me.


Luke Chable vs The New Division - Opium (Original Mix).

Background promo - For many years, in the early 2000s, Luke Chable had been described as one of the best Progressive House producers around, renowned for his unmatched production skills & his ability to create massive hits while still preserving his underground roots. From his first release, “Accelerator” – which sold out of no less than four pressings – to his worldwide seminal hit “Ride” and his collaboration with Phil K as Lostep, it was a non-stop series of hugely successful releases for more than 5 years straight. Countless classic originals & remixes topped the dance charts all over the world whilst being championed by the world’s elite DJ’s: Deep Dish, Tiesto, Sasha, John Digweed, Eric Prydz, Dave Seaman, Danny Howells, and many more as being one of the hottest progressive house artists on the planet.

After years of production successes coupled with a hectic global touring schedule, Luke took a well deserved rest away from the scene for a few years...only to come back even stronger. Earlier in 2015, his return “Comet” EP (released on ToolRoom Zero Three sister label) instantly climbed into Beatport Top 5 and prompted EDM act Above & Beyond to propose him a guest mix spot on their massively famous “Group Therapy” radio show.

With his comeback EP now nearing 1 Million plays on Spotify, Luke follows up with his own take on indie pop cult classic “Opium” from The New Division, retaining the 2012 track original vocal and delivering a hypnotic and modern progressive house number.

Luke Chable's progressive house rethink of 'Opium', can only add to his standing as a top producer. Retaining the original vocals gives it a recognisable connection to the indie pop number, everything else just works so very, very well.


Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Genre Wander: Natalie Lurie - The Boy From Space - Iska Dhaaf

Natalie Lurie - No Mercy in the Night.

Background promo - Nashville songwriter Natalie Lurie has released her debut single, "No Mercy In The Night." The track is available at all digital outlets and is the first single from her upcoming EP, No Mercy In The Night, due out March 25th. 

Natalie's fascination with the harp began at age 7 when she spotted the instrument in a music shop. She sat down and began strumming until the shop owner finally asked she and her family to leave because the store was closing. Natalie's harp studies have taken her across the globe. During her senior year of high school she attended the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance. After that, she studied privately in France and Switzerland, before returning to the US where she completed her undergraduate work under renowned harpist Susann McDonald at Indiana University.

Though she is classically trained, Natalie has always held an interest in expanding the harp beyond its traditional classical genre. Before moving to Nashville to pursue songwriting and performing, she spent time in Muscle Shoals, AL working with original session musicians from the 1960s. After releasing No Mercy In The Night this spring, she will move to London to pursue a Master of Arts in Harp Performance at the Royal Academy of Music.

This is a joy to feature on Beehive Candy. When I first looked at the picture in the promo I thought 'oh no, not a Joanna Newsom copy' regarding the harp. How wrong I was. Yes they both play a harp and there it ends. This is a carefully crafted indie pop song where vocals and a fine assortment of instruments (including the harp) deliver us, one very pleasing track.


The Boy From Space - I Don't Want To Go To Work (EP).

Background promo - Nub Music Release - 6th February 2016. How many people say they have woken up on Monday morning and thought, ‘I don’t want to go to work’. The life shared by 70% of the adult population of this country. Who writes songs for them, the grind, the frustration, the dreams? This classic British pop song swoons sympathetically with the mood of Blue Monday – statistically the most depressing day of the year, bringing a sparkle and humanity with it’s synth.

In the tradition of the Smiths or the Pet Shop Boys, The Boy from Space write classic pop songs about the life shared by those who didn’t go to Eton (or Rock School), and there are a lot of us. But if you think the dramas of everyday life make for dull music, listen to the melancholic synth-pop of Ugly – a riposte to Christina Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ (‘What if I don’t have within, enough to break out through my skin?’), or American Beauty with its amazing build up to a beautiful chorus and if there’s any doubt about the fact that these Space People can create extraordinary music listen to their floor-shaking rendition of Pink Floyd’s Lucifer Sam which quite possibly out-mads the original.

The Boy From Space fulfil the tradition of English eccentrics by the bucket load, but we’re not talking bohemian folk, staring into space, these guys Are from space, misfits caught between the mundanity of working life and the magic, wonder and awe of life in all its possibility.

There's a video for the above mentioned title track from the four song EP, that was filmed on Bournemouth beach not far from where I used to live (and still not really that far). However although that made me pay a tiny bit more attention to the music, how could you not like it anyway? They even manage to out quirk Pink Floyds 'Lucifer Sam' on this very enjoyable EP, video over on the BeeVids page.


Iska Dhaaf - Invisible Cities.

Background promo - In 2011 Nathan Quiroga (Mad Rad, Buffalo Madonna) and Benjamin Verdoes (Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band) left their respective Seattle-based projects behind and began collaboration on Iska Dhaaf. The band was quickly embraced for their engaging live shows, and for creating the sound of a full band by way of two people. Together as songwriters they have steadily explored production, instrumentation, and an ever-expanding narrative voice.

After the release of their debut, Even the Sun Will Burn, they toured across North America, Western Europe, relocated to New York, and most recently wrote and performed in Paris and Berlin. Their upcoming album,The Wanting Creature, sees the duo emerging as producers, experimenters and genre-bending artists. The new songs show an ongoing devotion to lyrical depth and composition, and the album more fully utilizes their diverse musical backgrounds. Nearly five years in, they will surprise with their innovations-taking risks one would hope to see in a sophomore album. New album due out 27th May 2016 via Brick Lane Records.

There is something quite addictive about 'Invisible Cities'. Maybe it's the overall pace and the way the vocals glide over and along with the beat. Whatever, if it's meant to wet my appetite for the album, then it's a case of job done!


Monday, 8 February 2016

Two Good Ones: Drew Worthley - Strange Fiction

Drew Worthley - John Proctors Lament.

Background - Drew Worthley is an East London musician who crafts a curious blend of cerebral indie-pop with a twist of lyrical Americana. His newly released sophomore record 'Crucible', recorded at Echo Zoo Studios has been praised by Louder Than War as 'one of the albums of the year without doubt.' The 'blisfully atypical' collection of songs explores memory, economics, London and literature, weaving heartfelt vocals around a smorgasbord of analogue synths, guitars, flugelhorns and battered drums.

Crucible has been receiving regular airplay on BBC 6 Music, BBC London and BBC Introducing, numerous features on Baeble Music and 'Tune of the Day' recommendations on Amazing Tunes. Drew will be touring in early spring 2016.

Yet another one of those 'ones to watch out for' artists, and some! 'John Proctors Lament' is but a toe in the water as an introduction to Drew Worthley. Plenty of buzz and notice already for Drew, and not surprising, this is fine music on a grand scale.


Strange Fiction - Icarus' Last Night.

Background - Strange Fiction Release 'Icarus' Last Night', the second single from their debut album 'Orange'

Strange Fiction, an alternative rock band based in London/Barcelona, formed in early 2014. Carlos (vocals), Sergi (guitar), Marc (bass) and Joel (drums) released their debut album 'Orange', in June 2015 to hugely positive reviews. An inspired body of work, 'Orange' presents a compelling blend of influences and reference points from Incubus to Red Hot Chili Peppers, Carlos Palacio to Bruno Mars.

2015 saw Strange Fiction touring hard across the UK and Spain, doing more than twenty-five dates in both countries. The band's astonishing on stage energy has helped them to build a solid and loyal fan base that suggests this band have a very promising future. 

'Icarus Last Night' is a slick and catchy rock track. The band separate themselves from the pack with equally punchy and harmonised vocals, along with what I would describe as 'well oiled' musicianship.


Saturday, 6 February 2016

Saturday Rocks: Elephant Stone - Jay Scott and The Find

Elephant Stone - Where I'm Going.

Background promo - After a wild tour through the west coast of the United States and Canada in November, Elephant Stone are strapping down their sitar and vintage guitar gear, and heading out on at US tour (plus honorary American city, Toronto) which has the band in and out of Austin for SXSW. To coincide with the tour announce, the band are presenting another smash song, "Where I'm Going" which features a newer sound that the band has been absolutely killing it with recently. 

Rishi Dhir and company have been busier than ever, working on a new LP for 2016, and recently releasing single, "The Devil's Shelter” and are now following it up this week with "Where I'm Going", another stand alone number that hints at where the new record's sound is headed. Having already spent many years satiating the vintage fetishist psych sound, naturally the band has progressed into influences from 1980s and 90s England (think Primal Scream, and other Creation Records artists), and "Where I'm Going" is an exciting nod to that era, but not missing any of the standard Elephant Stone sound that has consistently buoyed a full head above most Can Con-centric outfits out of the north.

Elephant Stone North American Dates
03/10 Toronto ON - Sneaky Dee’s 
03/11  Indianapolis IN - Joyful Noise 
03/12  Little Rock AR - Vino’s 
03/14  Austin TX - SXSW
03/18  Memphis TN - Hi-Tone 
03/19  Cincinnati OH - MOTR 
03/20  Brooklyn NY - Baby’s All Right 
04/14  Montreal QC - La Sala Rossa.

With a funky synth laden beat 'Where I'm Going' kicks off and then edges into softer vocals and a psych flavour. The melody builds and we are left with a really cool song.


Jay Scott and The Find - The Other Side.

Background promo - “It's a long time since anyone brought me an unsigned band with a first album of greatest hits” - Steve Power

Songwriter and guitarist Jay Scott releases his first single 'The Other Side' taken from his upcoming album due in late 2016. The single was created following an intense song writing week called 'The Break Through Sessions' at Tile Yard Studios recommended to Jay by his publisher Fairwood. Here he worked with many talented artists and writers including the incredible producers The Knutbrowns, with whom the The Other Side was born.

Touring across the UK and Europe with his band The Find has earned Jay a loyal fan base with shows at legendary venues including Ronnie Scott's, to headlining slots at London's Shoreditch House and Hospital Club; as well as touring with and supporting the likes of Take That and Razorlight.

Jay showcased his fresh mix of infectious indie rock on his debut album, produced by Steve Power (Elton  John,  Blur,  Feeder) completed in 2014; which included a 22 piece strings section recorded at Abbey Road Studios. Teaming up with fellow touring and session musicians, Jay's sound continues to evolve and adapt, crafting individually unique tracks on every record.

Upcoming Shows:
Friday March 25th @ Home House, London

Friday April 1st @ St James Theatre, London

'The Other Side' is a smooth ultra tight indie rock song, that has enough passion to give it some vital edge. An expression I probably use to often is 'timeless' however in this case I think it fits, spot on.


Friday, 5 February 2016

Weekend Warmers: Chambers - A Dead Forest Index - Nations of the Soul

Chambers - Yeagin Shone.

Background promo - Forming as a time killer in high school, it was only after graduating that the boys from Chambers (Jim, Jason, Hendo, and Aiden) started taking their music and creativity more seriously.

After playing a bunch of shows for two years straight, the months leading up to the end of 2015 saw the band take a bit of a break to recoup, recollect and start working on a brand new set and musical direction. Their new single “Yeagin Shone” encompasses their transition from being young and dumb, to being slightly older and slightly wiser.

2016 has just begun, and Chambers will make it their best one yet. The single was recorded at Tender Trap Studios and was produced and engineered by Greg “Bees Knees” Rietwyk. Mastering was done by Jacob M at Clockwork Mastering.

“'Yeagin Shone’ was written about a mate of ours who was going through a mental rough patch, it was one thing seeing him go through it but I wanted to explore it from both the perspective of the ailment he had and his own perspective. Sorta delving into the frame of mind you have and the thoughts that follow when you come to terms with your issue.”  - Chambers

The single sounds like a band who have found their feet and are excited to explore what lies ahead of them.

'Yeagin Shone' is a delicious piece of indie come psych rock. There's a 'surf and sunshine' vibe to it, along with a more rock orientated latter feel.


A Dead Forest Index - No Paths.

Background promo - Sargent House is pleased to announce the signing of New Zealand via London duo A Dead Forest Index and the release of their debut full length album In All That Drifts from Summit Down on 29th April 2016.

Landscapes both seen and felt, real and imagined, lie at the heart of In All That Drifts From Summit Down, the vast debut full-length release from nomadic duo A Dead Forest Index. Comprised of brothers Adam Sherry (vocals/guitar) and Sam Sherry (drums/piano), the group crafts ethereal and intensely intimate compositions that defy trends and labelling, instead shaping an aural experience as organic as it is unpredictable. Forsaking instrumental complexity in favour of richly dense vocals and an otherwise minimal palette, the band evokes heaviness with the atmosphere they create rather than through blunt force. Teaming-up with Sargent House on the heels of a recent European tour supporting label mate Chelsea Wolfe, A Dead Forest Index are poised to introduce their sound to a global audience in 2016.

A Dead Forest Index was initially the solo project of Adam Sherry, begun in 2008. By 2010, it had evolved into a collaboration, with Sam Sherry supplying percussive depth to his brother’s distinctively hymnal approach to vocals, itself characterised by cyclical harmonies and experiments with drone. Untethered by place (or, for that matter, era), they’ve spent the past few years developing their sound, touring extensively between 2012-2014, and issuing the EPs “Antique” and “Cast of Lines” in the process. The latter was released by Jehnny Beth of Savages’ Pop Noire label, a precursor to the collaborative Savages/A Dead Forest Index composition and performance titled “In What I’m Seeing; the Sun” for the Barbican’s Station to Station Festival in 2015.

Vocally this just soothes and demands attention, With the rhythmic beat it becomes closer to hypnotic. Totally atmospheric whilst remaining crisp and clear (sounds like a fine wine description, and in that sense the parallels are not accidental).


Nations of the Soul - Bring Us Back Home.

Background words - Nations of the Soul, indie folk duo from Norway, is releasing their debut album 5th February. They have released 3 singles in advance, which have been picked up and loved by the Norwegian press/radio.

Having honed their musical expression in the shadows of the stage, the brothers – Mikael and Lucas Roussel, took the stage at the Eggstock Festival and ended in a second place. Since then they have been booked to several venues and played support for acts like Hudson Taylor. They are originally from France, but moved to Norway 5 years ago.

Nations of the Soul operates within a broad term of indie and folk pop with strong and humble songs about life, which puts them in the same bracket as The Lumineers, Simon & Garfunkel and Mumford & Sons.

There's a little bit of 'sixties protest song' feel to the featured track 'Bring Us Back Home'. It's also pretty short in duration, but hopefully enough to give a idea for, what is a really fine collection of indie folk songs on the album.


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Thursday Three: Givers - Satchmode - Christine Leakey

Givers - Growls.

Background words - Louisiana-based indie poppers Givers have announced their highly anticipated second album 'New Kingdom' will see a UK release of 8th April via Glassnote Records.

When Givers formed in 2008 in the sweaty dance halls of Lafayette, Louisiana, they knew right away that they had something special. Crafted from the improvisational and dance-fuelled atmosphere of the area's zydeco, Cajun, and jazz cultures mixed with an affection for new wave, funk, and world music, the infectious results brought a quick rise to the spotlight for the young band. Soon after forming, a fortuitous opportunity to play a string of shows with Dirty Projectors arose, bringing them swiftly to the attention of listeners outside the southwest Louisiana region. Their debut album In Light was released two years later in 2011 on Glassnote Records, backed by extensive touring. During that time, they found themselves bouncing along a global festival circuit, making their national TV debut with Jimmy Fallon and performing alongside the likes of Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Carnegie Hall.

After an extended break from rigorous touring, the band met in the peaks of Beech Mountain, North Carolina to begin collaborating for their Sophomore album. Their nomadic approach to recording led them across the Smoky Mountains to the wintry hills of the Eau Claire, Wisconsin and back down to the placid lakes of south Louisiana, causing a transformation that led them to the surface of something new and unseen. This myriad of changing influences can be felt throughout the intricate and startling New Kingdom, their most recent work.

A mixture of styles and sounds greet you with 'Growls'. The vocals and harmonies add order and direction, however musically the song retains it's melting pot of ideas. Original and very likeable.


Satchmode - Don't Give Up On Me.

Background promo - Satchmode is a dream pop duo from Los Angeles made up of Gabe Donnay and Adam Boukis.  Collectively, they represent an eclectic diversity of musical experience, having gigged in everything from folk and bluegrass outfits to jazz combos to noise rock and funk bands. Out of this incongruous assortment of influences, they have distilled a sound that is refreshingly varied, ranging from infectious, upbeat disco grooves to rich, cinematic soundscapes. Still, their compositions are tied together by an emphasis on memorable melodies and meaningful song writing and a love for electronic manipulation.  Satchmode is currently recording their debut full-length album, to be released in 2016.

"Don't Give Up On Me" is a much faster, higher energy song that anything we've released before. But it still centers around familiar themes: regret and pain about a broken relationship, and desperate denial about the state of things." - Satchmode

Musically 'Don't Give Up On Me' blasts off at some pace and temporarily reminded me of a more upbeat OMD. Vocally the dream pop vibe is clearly present. A nice taster for their full length album due at some point this year.


Christine Leakey - Twinkle.

Background from Christine -  I'm thrilled to share the first single entitled, Twinkle off my soon to be released second solo record entitled, Wanderlust Wishing Well.

I travelled to Los Angeles to record and self-produce my album with my friend, Fernando Perdomo who produces many including Linda Perhacs and is lead guitarist in Jakob Dylan’s project Echo in the Canyon (my drummer Matt is also the drummer in Echo in the Canyon). Twinkle is the sole track on the album that Fernando produced and I co-produced with him.

Another music related project that I’m excited to share about is that on Valentine’s Day, I officially become a published writer. I was approached along with 100 women in indie music globally to take part writing a book by 5 time Grammy Award winning producer, Devine Evans and backed by Queen Latifah entitled, Sheet Music: The Diary of a Songwriter. They are having a book launch at the Avalon Theatre in Hollywood for it on the book launch date.

Anyway, I'm really hoping that you will enjoy Twinkle which is just one music flavour from a variety of what’s to come on my second album which is a blend of upbeat songs, a few dreamy ones, some jazzy and sultry ones, other worldly, circus vibes and more with a cinematic twist and with some phenomenal surprise guests! :D Also,  if you listen at the end of Twinkle, you will hear the gang vocals who are the voices of many who are on the upcoming album with me.

Oh I do like 'Twinkle'. The originality is all to apparent, as is the heart and soul that pours through this song. Occasionally a song (and artist) comes along that really justifies the time and attention I have for music. Christine Leakey and the song 'Twinkle' makes it all seem worthwile.


Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Genre Wander: Freedom Fry - Jonny Avery - The Jade Assembly

Freedom Fry - The Words.

Background words - We were messing around in the studio and came up with this hybrid, disco-folk song. It’s written from the perspective of a boyfriend or girlfriend who just needs to hear that they’re still wanted. We really liked that the lyric “Just say the words” kind of also sounds like “Je sais the words.” “Je sais” means “I know” in French. - Bruce & Marie

In February 2015, Freedom Fry started the year at #1 on The Hype Machine with their first in a series of new singles, “Shaky Ground (Hey Na Na Na).” Just a few weeks later, Spotify included them in their rankings of “100 Emerging Artists From SXSW,” where they met Belgian sensation Stromae and were asked to support his west coast tour. Freedom Fry ended the tour with the beginning of a weekly May residency in Los Angeles, then took off to well-received shows in London & Paris, and came back to tour the east coast with Communion Presents.

The French/American duo, whose stage name is a satire on US & French relations during the Iraq war, have been self-producing and releasing music since 2011 when they first met on the set of a music video. Their home base, Los Angeles, and all the warmth and sunshine of California tends to heavily bleed into their sound – which skirts the lines between pop, folk and indie-rock – always blended with danceable rhythms and a sing-a-long chorus.

I just liked the idea of a hybrid disco-folk song as soon as I read the promo for this. I was not disappointed either. There's a fresh, breezy feel all the way through. Today's big question therefore has to be, is disco-folk the way forward? 


Jonny Avery - Captains Of Industry.

Background promo - Jonny Avery is a singer/songwriter from New Zealand who mixes soulful melodies with delicate guitar work. After moving to Wellington to complete his Masters in Music at the New Zealand School of Music, Jonny released his debut solo EP ‘Atonement for Eden’. He has had a busy year, performing regularly around New Zealand. Recently he opened for Australian heavyweights Pendulum on their ‘Rhythm And Vines’ tour. Jonny’s influences include Paul Simon, Jeff Buckley and James Taylor.

“Captains of Industry” is co written by Jonny and his dad. The first half of the lyrics were penned by Jonny’s dad before he passed away in 2000. Several years later, and unaware that the song even existed, Jonny found the lyrics in his dad’s old briefcase in the basement in his childhood home while on holiday. Jonny decided to pay homage to his dad by composing a melody and bridge so that the song could be completed. Soon after, he got his band together to record the song at a local school in Wellington. It was mastered at Park Road Productions in Wellington, the same studio that worked on the post-production of The Lord of The Rings movies.

“‘Captains of Industry’ is about corporate greed and the unacceptable treatment of natural resources in exchange for profit. It’s a difficult topic to sing about so I decided drape the song in irony by adding joyful beats and instrumentation. It’s best to interpret the lyrics as an accusation of unethical behaviour towards global corporations, rather then a song that actually praises them— I only mention this because people have come up to me after gigs asking me why I support such crazy ideas.” - Jonny Avery.

'Captains Of Industry' is pleasing both musically, with some intricate and understated musicianship, along with intelligent lyrics, that ironically have been misinterpreted by some, as Jonny states above.


The Jade Assembly - Nothing Changes.

Background promo - Manchester has always synonymous with music. So many bands, so much attitude, so much history. Some bands concern themselves with style, neglecting substance. Some bands, like The Jade Assembly, claim to have both.

From the passion of Watson and Danny's rhythm section, to the raw power of Smed's guitar work, each song is constructed to accompany northern poet John Foster's lyrics perfectly. In Foz the band have a front man who possesses an imposing sense of belief, not devoid of arrogance - but full of commitment.

Live Dates:
Feb 7th - Soundcontrol Manchester / Sound Control to Major Tom: For David Bowie
Feb 10th - Trafford Radio: Interview and Live Performance
Feb 13th - Manchester Academy 3 with Sixty Minute Man, Liam McClair, Dirty Saint & The Brakes
Feb 26th - BeerPrest / Prestwich Beer Festival with headline act Badly Drawn Boy
March 5th - Sebright Arms, London
March 17th - Studio 2, Parr Street, Liverpool
March 25th - Engine Rooms, Skelmersdale
March 27th - B Fest, Bolton
April 1st - Late Lounge, Rhyl
April 8th - Old Courts, Wigan.

'Nothing Changes' is one really good song. Forget about all the Manchester 'swagger and attitude' hype, this is a band who have real musical substance. Looking forward to hearing more from The Jade Assembly.


Monday, 1 February 2016

The Attics - Not Like

The Attics - Not Like.

Background promo - Returning to their roots for their latest release, ‘Not Like’ is quirky pop music, standing on the sidelines of a dancefloor. Sparse verses with minimal beats, choruses that show careful, yet catchy restraint and a twisted psych breakdown with a looping falsetto calling “hometown always is one place; she goes away, but always stays with me”. This is pop songwriting, flirting with deep layers of effected synthetic instruments and wonky bass lines.

Past singles ‘We Broke The Sky’ and ‘Ultraviolets’, from their most recent release, received attention from Australian music blogs, and secured high rotation airplay on several public radio stations across Australia, including triple j Unearthed. These tracks and their mesmerising live show have led to comparisons with acts as wide ranging as The Murlocs, Pond, Jagwar Ma and Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The Attics’ hard work and relentless gigging across Melbourne and Victoria has been recognised and paid off with a slot at the Apollo Bay and Queenscliff Music Festivals as well as securing a position on the By The Meadow line-up alongside Foreign/National, Dorsal Fins and Sunbeam Sound Machine.

‘Not Like’ was recorded with Hector Castillo (two-time x Grammy award winner – worked with David Bowie, Bjork, Lou Reed, Roger Waters) at Sydney’s iconic Studios 301. The track was then mixed and mastered in the careful hands of Isaac Barter (Canary, Life Is Better Blonde). The Attics are excited to announce their upcoming tour hitting regional centres across Victoria as well as headline shows in Melbourne, Sydney and Canberra.

Upcoming Shows:
19th Feb - The Barwon Club, Geelong (w/ Murdena, Velvet Bow)
20th Feb - The Loft, Warrnambool (w/ The Stiffys, Blackwood Jack)
26th Feb - Straight Shooters, Colac (w/ Velvet Bow)
4th Mar - The Grace Darling, Melbourne (w/ Uncle Bobby, Neon Queen, IO)
18th Mar - Union Hotel, Sydney (w/ Suiix, Space Monk, Plum)
19th Mar - The Phoenix, Canberra (w/ Wallflower, Mondecreen).

'Not Like' did enough for me to give it a second play. It's definitely a 'grower' possibly because it dares to be different and is so, so unpretentious. Quirky with heaps of style.