Sunday, 28 August 2016

Genre Wander: Tanya Gallagher - Computer Magic - Lion Sphere - Otis Redding - Lion's Den

Tanya Gallagher - Virginia.

Background bio - A little town in the Florida panhandle may be the only true home to Southern songstress Tanya Gallagher, but her music spans the country from the coastal plains of the Gulf of Mexico into the far reaches of the Pacific Northwest. Born and raised near the Florida-Alabama line, she spent her formative years along the Gulf Coast studying environmental science and working odd jobs whilst fine-tuning her song-writing skills. Her 2013 release, Oh My Love, reveals beautifully crafted melodies and thoughtful folky refrains, enough to garner the attention of both her US and Canadian peers. 

Collaborating and performing alongside fellow wordsmiths and fans, like James Adkins, Logan Vath, and James Dupre, her song-writing conveys the honesty and wisdom of a woman who is beginning to establish a musical identity all her own, yet one still rooted in the soulful folky crooners who have paved the way before her. With her voice as smooth as whiskey and an acoustic guitar, Gallagher uprooted and moved from Pensacola, Florida to Vancouver, BC in the fall of 2013 to pursue a PhD in Landscape Ecology and continue song-writing. Her latest album, Virginia, is set to be released September 30th, 2016.

The first of seven songs 'Virginia' gives a good taste of the folky and refined music Tanya Gallagher creates. Her songs tell stories and conjure up mind pictures, whilst the music and harmonies, add melody and atmosphere. Understated and yet full of feeling, it's a really fine collection of songs.


Computer Magic - Dimensions.

Background - "Danielle Johnson, is a Catskills-born producer and recording artist who makes music as Computer Magic. She spent years as a fixture on the NYC nightlife scene as a teen DJ going by the name Danz, then dropped out of college and started making music withe her midi controller and her computer. She's particularly revered in Japan; she likes to wear NASA space suits. Since 2010 she's released a bunch of EPs and last year's debut LP Davos (Gary Numan fans get involved!) and below is the premiere of her new song, "Dimensions," lifted from her forthcoming EP Obscure But Visible. "Life is short but love is long / Take a breath and carry on," she exhales wistfully over canned beats and dancing synth lines. There's a pinch of "Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots."

"The song 'Dimensions' was inspired by my recent time spent in upstate New York—the intense skies at night, the infinite green fields," she explains. "When you're lying on the grass in the middle of nowhere looking up at the stars, you realise how small your place is in the universe, and in turn your current problems tend to fade away if only for a moment. I suppose the lyrics are about this, the feeling I experience looking up at the stars."

'Dimensions' is a dreamy, melodic and totally catchy, synth pop song. Danielle Johnson has some very real creative talent. Why say more?


Lion Sphere - Sisters.

Background promo - Berlin based four-piece Lion Sphere are one of the most exciting bands to come out of Germany this year. The release of debut single 'Sisters', and accompanying visuals, set the boys on a trajectory of nationwide shows and increased demand.

The band blend thumping electronic fragments with heavy hip-hop grooves, spacious guitar licks and raw, soulful vocals to create a mixture of genres which don't quite sound like anyone else, and this is what sets them apart in the German musical landscape. The music is a mesmerising fusion of dreamy melodic detail, airy synths, jazz infused drums and a satisfyingly throbbing bass presence.

Their modern and unexpected song structures are strung together by hooky melodies that range from delicate falsettos to smoky powerful vocals. Lion Sphere break with the conventions of overused pop palettes and create their own synthesis of each members unique musical and cultural background. "Sisters" is the first taste of their debut EP The Infinite You to be released in October 2016.

The soulful vocals on 'Sisters' are matched almost to perfection by the equally superb musicianship. Produced with layers of beautifully blended sounds this is one encouraging introduction for the EP.


Otis Redding - Mr Pitiful.

Background - Stax Records and UMC, are pleased to announce the release of Otis Redding – Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings. In chronological order, this six-CD collection presents the entirety of Redding’s historic performances over three nights at the famed Sunset Strip venue. The seven sets, recorded Friday, April 8th – Sunday, April 10th,1966, feature the singer’s popular songs of the time, including “Respect,” “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” and his cover of The Rolling Stones’ “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction.” Several of these recordings--all remixed and remastered from the original 4-track analog tapes--will be made available for the very first time on October 21. In fact, this collection will be the first to offer fans the chance to relive all of the sets in their entirety, including between-song banter by Redding exactly as they were performed. Rounding out the package is a poster, plus new liner notes from Los Angeles-based journalist Lynell George and box set co-producer Bill Bentley.

By the spring of 1966, 24-year-old Otis Redding was a bona-fide star on the R&B and soul radio waves. The singer was enjoying the critical and commercial success of his third studio album, Otis Blue, and was watching his singles cross over to the (typically very white) pop charts. Redding had yet to be fully embraced by a white audience, and this weekend-long gig in Hollywood, booked at a venue known more for hosting hippies, and launching bands like The Doors, The Byrds and Buffalo Springfield, was a shrewd move to introduce Redding to a new market. In fact, Redding would be the first major soul act to perform on the Whisky’s stage. In her liner notes, Lynell George adds context: “The Strip, like much of 1960s Los Angeles, had invisible but tough to permeate dividing lines...Redding began to see this three-night run as just the right spark to help him jump over all those many lines, from star to superstar, from R&B/soul to pop, from all-black rooms to arenas…” In the end, these Whisky sets (with Otis' nine-piece band) did prove to be an important step in Redding’s career, and introduced him to the emerging counter-culture of the 60s. Of the Whisky shows, The Doors' guitarist Robby Krieger said, "I remember standing right in front of the stage for the whole show. I never heard of Otis Redding before and I was amazed at the energy that he created on the stage.”  A year later, Otis would be the star act at the Monterey Pop Festival, sharing a lineup that included Jimi Hendrix and The Who. Tragically, just as his career was reaching its peak, Redding’s life would be cut short in a plane crash, in December 1967.

'Mr Pitiful' is all I have to hear, for a compulsive need to own the entire six CD collection. Otis Redding, soul master, what a tremendous experience listening to all of this is likely to be.


Lion's Den - Scars.

Background - Stockholm based Lion's Den, including members from bands such as Wild Fangs, Holograms, Mind Traps and Martin Savage Gang, release a new single from their forthcoming debut album!

Lining up to the album the band has released singles "Nothing's Fine" and "Timetimetime" receiving great praise from blogs all over the world. "Scars" is out now and the debut album will be here on August 31st.

Tour Dates (more tba)
2 sep - Debaser Strand, Stockholm - w Föllakzoid
29 sep - Grand Öl&Mat, Malmö - w Growth
30 sep - Koloni / High Time, Göteborg - w Growth, LA Hell Gang

Uncomplicated it may be, however'Scars' has all the vital ingredients for an indie garage/pop/rock or whatever you decide it is song. Hooks galore, a lively upbeat soundtrack and vocals that add some rock'n'roll edge.


Saturday, 27 August 2016

Weekend Wonders: Almanac Mountain - Baby Baby - The Harlots - Pete Allan - Jasmine Rodgers

Almanac Mountain - Harborside.

Background Bio - Beyond being an obscure peak on the outskirts of Maine, Almanac Mountain is the moniker of conceptual bedroom prog pop impresario Chris Cote. The slight pinnacle of a namesake is indicative of the band’s emphasis on the mundane, simple and modest aspects of life which Cote finds more spiritually liberating than the spectacular, big and awe-inspiring.

Based on the New Hampshire Seacoast, which happens to be the country’s smallest coastline, Almanac Mountain has cultivated a unique sound which merges Cote’s pop and classical instincts. It is one part ELO, one part Magnetic Fields and one part Franz Schubert. The band began releasing material in 2010 with the When In Nature EP and followed with the debut full length So Many Seas later that year. Their sophomore LP Almanac Mountain Is In Like With You was released in September of 2014 and was supported by a series of shows all over New England.

While Almanac Mountain’s live show consists of a full band, Cote usually records the material by himself with the guidance of Brian James, a friend and trusted confidant who occasionally plays parts, and who always masters the finished music. While the subject matter has varied from the specific to the universal, the themes of Chris’ work are rooted in a form of secular humanism; centering on the admiration for the natural world and the aversion to egotism.

The newest album, Cryptoseismology, which literally means the study of hidden or secret quakes, was recorded during the worst winter in recent New England memory where the walkways and roads were surrounded by trenches of snow for months. “The cold never let up” Cote reflects. “It had such an impact on me I felt like I was escaping into the worlds I was creating in the songs.” The storms’ effect contributed to the often creeped out sense of isolation and paranoia found on the kaleidoscopic album. A discomforting vibe that was tempered by Cote’s sarcastic optimism. “I ultimately feel we have a kind of power within us...” Cote notes. “To walk past all the weirdness and insanity and find grace.”

The eleventh and final track on the 'Cryptoseismology' album, the song  'Harborside' is just a hint of what's in store on this fabulous album. It's sometimes pop, other times more prog, and then of course there are folk influences and the odd pretty experimental piece. The best description I can come up with overall is, think of a modern day Kevin Ayres, but more focused - wonderful stuff!


Baby Baby - Hang In There.

Background - The fine southern gentlemen of Baby Baby have been performing since late 2009. Started by singer/guitarist/raconteur Fontez Brooks and drummer Grant Wallace, the band now features Colin “CowCow” Boddy and Hsiang Ming “New Guy” Wen. Straight out of Carrollton, GA.

The band has graced the stages of  Made In America, Riotfest and Afropunk, as well as losing all their money on condoms and beer during The Warped Tour. Searching to define their music, the only description is “Fun Rock” – a mélange of Indie, English and Swedish Punk, Bayou Rock, Vaudeville and Carnival. If Tony Robbins put on a Hawaiian shirt and a pair of swimshorts, downed a bottle of bourbon, listened to nothing but Blink 182 and GG Allin for 24 hours and then decided to deliver a musical motivational speech, pick up your girlfriend and steal your cab this is what it would sound like. On fire.

It is not meant to be taken seriously. It is supposed to put a large grin on your face and if you do decide a mosh pit is in order, they request that you act with decorum and class. It’s preferable that they heckle you rather than the other way round.

We feature 'Hang In There' as the band get ready to release their third album titled 'Semifamous' (September 16th). The final song on the album is called 'Exhausted' and might be autobiographical, as this band don't slow down, they just deliver great rambunctious rock'n'roll and are seemingly loving every minute of it. Fun Rock is the genre, Baby Baby are the band.


The Harlots - Umma Gumma.

Background - The Harlots are a six-piece rock, pop and soul outfit from Melbourne that have spent the last half a decade filling dance floors across Australia. Blending overdriven guitars, dreamy keyboards and a tight-as-fuck rhythm section that grabs you by the lapels and un-tucks your shirt, the band is known for honest, story-telling lyrics that always hit close to home.

The band’s EPs, The Harlots (2011) and Course Tunes; Parts 1 and 2 (2013) have been met with much critical acclaim, leading to a string of sellout Melbourne shows, international supports (The Charlatans, Surfer Blood, The Commitments) and festival appearances (Kennedy’s Creek, Queenscliff, Gum Ball, Hills Are Alive, Cherry Rock and Festival of the Sun). ‘Umma Gumma’ was recorded by Richard Bowers (drummer/engineer for Magic Bones) at Soundpark studios in Northcote, Melbourne. The track was recorded live and onto to reel to reel tape, giving song a more raw and honest sound.

The band says on the creation of the track, “In the weeks before we wrote it, we’d been working on a few quieter, more complicated tracks that were taking ages to come together. We decided to put them aside for a bit and work on something else and when Umma Gumma was brought to the table, I think we must have channelled our frustration somehow because we ended up smashing out a far more aggressive, fun, upbeat version than what was intended. Only took a rehearsal or two as well. It was originally called ‘Heartbreaker' but because of the complete lack of diction in the chorus line, “I’m gonna leave ya,” we decided ‘Umma Gumma' was appropriate. “

‘Umma Gumma' is about when you know a relationship isn’t working and you’ve got to get out of it but you haven’t done it yet, like you’re preparing for it. The fast, frenetic nature of the song, when put with the lyrics gives it a kind of desperate feel. The band has a national tour in October/November to coincide with the release of their debut album. “Umma Gumma” by The Harlots will be released 1st of September 2016.

'Umma Gumma' slams into gear and with dynamic anxious vocals, we are away. The hooks and melody are in the chorus, manic rock precedes all of this, and half way through it all comes together, in a masterful and powerful manner, a superb piece of rock'n'roll.


Pete Allan - Lost & Found.

Background - Pete Allan to launch new EP 'Ripples' and single 'Lost and Found'. Sometimes you can just tell the artists that grew up on the coast. Their music and their lyrics all seem to reflect the smoothness of the sea breeze, or the relaxed pace of coastal life, transporting the listener from wherever they are to wherever they would rather be. This capability is the heart and soul of Pete Allan's latest EP 'Ripples'. A native of the Sunshine Coast hub of Noosa, Pete's blend of effortlessly cool vocals and hypnotic, swaying rhythms are the musical epitome of the paradise he grew up in.

Following on from this year's early taster and widespread radio gem 'Treading Water', new single 'Lost and Found' highlights Pete's gifted trademark storytelling while set to a tune fit for every upcoming Spring and Summer playlist. Produced/engineered by Elliot Heinrich at Heliport Studios and mastered by Brian Lucey at 301 Studios, the Ripples EP is a leap forward in full band sonics without adding any unnecessary weight to Pete's feather-light musical agility.

Perfectly described by Sea FM for his “smooth Sunday arvo feel”, Pete Allan's music matches his lifestyle – a blend of coastal warmth and down-to-earth honesty. This meeting of music and ocean is not a new thing for Pete (who has seen several of his songs end up on surf films) but it has in recent years taken a very literal twist. As seen in Pete's Summertime clip, he has taken to riding guitars like they are bodyboards, gaining the attention of GoPro and Inertia surf magazine as well as delighting the internet. Pete Allan, it would seem, is the embodiment of an entirely new definition of surf music.

But it is his work on-shore, as an artist, that defines him. Capturing one of the most beloved aspects of Australian life, Pete creates music that represents the vastness of coastal culture on a continent girt by sea. 'Ripples' will see Pete Allan continue to win over new fans all around the country. 'Ripples' featuring the single 'Lost and Found' is out Friday September 9 on CD and via all good digital retailers

Ripples EP Launch - Saturday September 10 @ Solbar, Maroochydore, w/Doolie, Jason Daniels.

'Lost & Found' is the first of six on the new EP and also the single. It's a predominately upbeat collection of songs, the attention to detail in the music and production ensure Pete Allan's appealing vocals are given the right level of accompaniment. Engaging lyrics and melodic vibes, makes for a good collection of songs.


Jasmine Rodgers - Follow You.

Background - ‘Follow You’ is about retelling the age old tragedy of separation, Jasmine says farewell but not goodbye to an erstwhile lover whose divergent path in life she feels she can no longer follow. It’s an intensely bittersweet dramatisation of the end of a relationship.

Jasmine Rodgers’ debut solo album Blood Red Sun channels her gift of narrative storytelling into eleven concise songs that explore the emotional hinterland behind all of our thoughts and deeds. It’s a folk album where, like Joanna Newsom, Rodgers’ assumes a variety of different masks. Whether it’s the bawdy lover amusing herself with lascivious fantasies as she watches her lover sleep, or the mystic bard piping songs about the transformative power of music itself, Rodgers’ natural gift for poesy and her depth of feeling stand front and centre in a beautifully rendered debut LP. 

Live Dates:
September 10, 2016, Nottingham, UK, New Art Exchange
October 15, 2016, Leeds, UK, Leeds First Direct Arena (Bad Company)
October 17, 2016, Cardiff, UK, Cardiff Motorpoint Arena (Bad Company)
October 19, 2016, Nottingham, UK, Nottingham Motorpoint Arena (Bad Company)
October 21, 2016, Birmingham. Birmingham Genting Arena (Bad Company)
November 24, 2016, London, UK, Olympic Studios Music Room

'Follow You' is the second song we have featured by Jasmine Rodgers, and having now listened to the album it sits well amongst many fine tracks. There is so much quality both in the lyrics, the music and the production. It's folk music by definition, however the variety between the songs is notable. I really hope this album gets noticed, it deserves to.


Friday, 26 August 2016

Six Of The Best: Katie Buxton - Brother Moses - Khompa - Lizzy Rose - Angela McCluskey - The Second Howl

Katie Buxton - You Flew.

Background promo - Indie-Folk Singer/Songwriter Katie Buxton releases heartfelt new single 'You Flew'. Katie Buxton is an indie folk singer/songwriter originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and based out of Nashville, Tennessee. At age twelve, Katie picked up the guitar and wrote her first song, and since then has had experience with bands and songwriting in multiple genres. In 2012, she was chosen as a finalist in the Sing for the Trees Songwriting Contest with her song “The World Moves By”. In the summer of 2013, Katie attended the Berklee Five Week Performance Program where she was a finalist in the Songwriting Showcase and received mentorship from Melissa Ferrick and Sally Taylor, daughter of James Taylor.

After moving to Nashville to attend Belmont University as a songwriting major, Katie was invited to join Bear House Writers Management and was one of eight to play in the ASCAP Writers Showcase in the fall of 2015. Adding to her songwriting accomplishments, she was later chosen as a finalist in the 2016 American Songwriting Awards with her song "Painted Hearts".

Katie’s debut EP “From Songbirds” was released in March of 2016. Her new single "You Flew" was recorded and mixed by Sal Oliveri and mastered by Luke Gilfeather. As for the meaning of the song, Katie explains "The song is about caring deeply for someone who is not ready to love or be loved and runs out of fear, and focuses especially on the process of learning to let go". "You Flew" is now available on Soundcloud, Itunes and all streaming services.

'You Flew' is a tender indie folk song from singer songwriter Katie Buxton. The vocals and harmonies are sweet, and accompanied by atmospheric and intricately layered music, that blends so well with Katie's voice.


Brother Moses - Time To Leave.

Background - Fayetteville, Arkansas indie rock band Brother Moses will release their sophomore EP Legends on August 26th via Missing Piece Records.

Of their song "Time to Leave" they say, It’s kind of my love-hate letter to my home state," James Lockhart explains of "Time to Leave." "Sometimes I get really frustrated with the current dividing issues in Arkansas, things that I feel like we should’ve gotten over a long time ago. But it felt good to just kind of vent about it, and this song had to be the most fun to make in the studio. Our buddy Cody Carpenter laid down some top-notch bongos in the instrumental, and John-Lewis and Moses really get to show off on guitar on this one."

Recorded in LA and produced by Raymond Richards (Local Natives, Avid Dancer, Ferraby Lionheart), Legends marks Brother Moses' followup to 2015's Thank You For All Your Patience EP.

Brother Moses began in 2014 when James Lockhart and Moses Gomez came together while studying at The University of Arkansas. Their debut EP was praised by Independent Clauses, w​ho said, “the lyrics are memorable, the melodies are tight, and the instrumental work is solid, but the overall mood of the piece is its greatest takeaway.” In the spring of 2015, the band teamed up with now full-time members Matthew Heckmann (bass) and John-Lewis Anderson (guitar,keys) to record their sophomore EP.

First you have the vocal impact (and with style) before the band kick in and take the song up a notch. 'Time To Leave' has an original indie rock sound. At first I thought it was a little quirky, however as the song develops you realise what a talented bunch Brother Moses are. Great song.


Khompa - Nettle Empire.

Background - With a Release date of Friday, September 2nd 2016, we have the new record from Stearica frontman Davide Compagnoni going by the name of Khompa. 

The whole album is played live on drums through an adventurous mix of drumming, electronics and cutting edge drum triggering technology.

Pretty special record this, not only has Davide shared the stage with bands such as Girls Against Boys, Acid Mothers Temple, NoMeansNo, Dälek, Damo Suzuki and Coliseum, but the album also features guest appearances from the likes of Taigen Kawabe of Bo Ningen and Davide Tomat from the experimental electronic pop band Niagara. 

Khompa is a unique audiovisual live act whose main elements are: a drummer, a conventional drum kit, 4 drum triggers, a laptop and a stepsequencer. Each drum controls a virtual musical instrument (synthesizers, samplers, etc.) within Ableton Live music software that, in combination with a custom stepsequencer (developed with MaxforLive app), allows Davide to perform real melodies/electronic orchestration without the use of any backing track, loops or click track. 100% live. Khompa's live show will also be enhanced by an innovative custom lightning set that will be controlled by the same triggers used for the music.

'Nettle Empire' is one of eight impressive tracks on the September 2nd album release. It's a powerful collection of music and the live video below, gives a real flavour of whats in store. Highly creative music from a really talented individual, and well worth checking out.


Lizzy Rose - Walk The Walk (You're A Whore).

Background - Lizzy Rose announced her upcoming album Crocodile Tears a few days back. "Seeing Lizzy Rose play a show is always a magical delight.  Her catalogue is worth digging into.  Miss Rose fronted Denver weirdo indie-pop outfit Vitamins before touring with the Flaming Lips, singing on their Dark Side of the Moon tour.  Now settled into her captivating solo project, the songwriter sings in her hauntingly beautiful falsetto lilt over melancholy piano and guitar soundscapes, creating startlingly tender and gorgeously crafted dreamlike songs."  - The Stranger, Seattle

Her new album, "Crocodile Tears" takes you on a journey through many different musical realms, from driving rock and roll anthems, to carnivalesque, operatic Shakespearean intimate love songs and everything in between.  The one thing that remains constant throughout is a peaceful feeling, like you've been here before.  A feeling of home.  There is a honesty and clarity in Lizzy Rose's voice and composition that is truly healing.

Lizzy Rose is a captivating performer and should not be missed.  She has an aura that welcomes and includes audiences in her journey.  Her voice grabs at the soul and conveys a message of love and acceptance to the listener.  Her songs and lyrics are both catchy and deeply spiritual.  There is hope for humanity pouring out of every lyric and from the darkness of some of her more personal songs that address the struggles of this world, there is the hidden light of redemption exploding out!

Tour Dates:
09/09 - Walla Walla, WA - Three Rivers Winery
09/10 - Boise, ID - Boise Hive
09/13 - Denver, CO - Lost Lake
09/16 - Felton, CA - Don Quixote's
09/23 - Olympia, WA - Le Voyeur
10/08 - Seattle, WA - Columbia City Theatre.

The song 'Walk The Walk (You're A Whore)' is more indie rock, than pop, it's also a pretty powerful piece. Lizzy's vocals sore above the guitar lead soundtrack, adding to the already present melody. There is a level of commitment and passion that suggests the forthcoming album 'Crocodile Tears' might well be quite something.


Angela McCluskey - Lets Get Lost.

Background - "Lets Get Lost" is the second official single from 'The Roxy Sessions'. The Roxy Sessions by chart topping vocalist Angela McCluskey will be released on September 9th via Bernadette Records. 

The second single to be released from the collection, "Lets Get Lost," just premiered. Recently, Angela was heard on the Big Gigantic smash hit "The Little Things," with Telepopmusik on several cuts including the worldwide #1 hit "Breathe," and now the featured vocalist behind those massive hits and more is stepping into the light with her new album The Roxy Sessions. 

On this project Angela shares songwriting duties with her producer and collaborator Kiran Shahani (Bitter:sweet, Supreme Beings of Leisure). Leading up to the September 9th album release Angela will be ‘Artist in Residence’ at The Roxy Hotel in NYC.

Having listened to both singles now I reckon that 'The Roxy Sessions' may well prove to be a pretty special treat. If the song 'Lets Get Lost' doesn't get you in the mood for dancing, I'm not sure what will, and that's from someone with an appalling sense of rhythm and two left feet! Seriously this is a fabulous tune, enjoy!


The Second Howl - Hundred Dollar Bills.

Background - The Second Howl blends pop melodies with dark and moody textures, delivered through frenetic live performances that have earned them critical acclaim across the country. Currently, The LA-based punk rock band have their debut release “You Fit In” available worldwide on all major streaming platforms and digital retailers. Additionally, The Second Howl will release the uproarious single “Hundred Dollar Bills” this summer, the track infused with the fire of screaming guitars and Jeanne’s flawless ferocity. Following the release of the single, the band will tour later this year, where the the band’s live punk energy will radiate most strongly.

The Second Howl is an alternative rock band based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2013 by singer Natasha Jeanne (formerly JD Natasha, three time Latin Grammy nominee) and guitarist/ multi-instrumentalist Alex Darren, The Second Howl blends pop melodies with dark and moody textures. Their frenetic live performances have earned them critical acclaim across the country. The Second Howl will release their blistering new single “Hundred Dollar Bills” this Summer, with an accompanying video. A tour in support of the release is in the works for later this year. The Second Howl’s debut release, You Fit In, is now available worldwide on all major streaming platforms and digital retailers.

With a blast of edgy rock'n'roll mixed with melody, pace and passion, 'Hundred Dollar Bills' is one thumping piece of no nonsense music. Why say more...


Thursday, 25 August 2016

Kynlie - So Called Friend

Kynlie - So Called Friend.

Background bio - Raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Kynlie grew up surrounded by talented songwriters and eclectic musical influences. She began exploring the world of songwriting at an early age through the music of Carole King, James Taylor, and other classic writers. 

By the age of thirteen, she had begun to accompany her writing with piano and guitar. Throughout her high school years, Kynlie used her advantage of being based in "Music City" to explore working in various studios and performing live at venues around town. She released her debut album at the age of sixteen and continued to release her original music throughout her teens.

After graduating from high school in Nashville, Kynlie attended the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston before returning to Nashville to pursue her music career. Soon after returning, Kynlie signed her first publishing deal with Sony/ATV. All of Kynlie's released music is available for download on iTunes and streaming on Spotify. Her Soundcloud features acoustic performances of songs and unreleased material.

We are delighted to be premiering the brand new music video for Kynie's wonderful single 'So Called Friend'. The song is also one of five inventive and well crafted tracks on the forthcoming Steps EP. The EP really does showcase Kynlie as a very creative and talented singer-songwriter. I guess broadly it's a collection of energised pop ballads with hints of the Nashville environment. Overall there is a pleasing level of maturity within the lyrics, and some very real feel good moments. Highly recommended. You can find a whole lot more on her website HERE.


Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Five On Wednesday: The Rival - Catch Prichard - Swaai Boys - Magic Trick - Unity Floors

The Rival - My Own Devices.

Background promo - The Rival Unveils New Single; Announces EP. Nashville alt-rock duo The Rival has unveiled the first single, "My Own Devices," from its upcoming EP, Sands. "My Own Devices" was premiered by Substream Magazine which says the track is a, "...massive new jam..." and that Sands, "...offers huge indie rock anthems, catchy choruses, and softer, elegant moments strewn throughout. We can tell you confidently that it’s a release you’ll want to visit repeatedly this fall."

"My Own Devices" will be commercially released and available at all digital outlets on August 26. The Sands EP is slated for release on October 7.

The band wrote the track from the perspective of a, " member that has been through hell with their partner and it’s been difficult to watch. We wrote ‘My Own Devices’ by putting ourselves in their shoes, imagining what it must feel like to try and fix what is broken and get back to that sense of home. Musically, we wanted to pay tribute to some of the great ’90s albums we grew up with, from Jeff Buckley to Weezer, and experiment with a sound that felt like home to us."

Sands is the second in a trilogy of EP’s The Rival is releasing in 2016 and 2017. The first EP, Waves, featured an electronic, synth-heavy, sound that reflected an upbeat summer vibe. On Sands, the duo showcases some of the most raw and intense tracks Phillip LaRue and Allen Salmon have arranged together. Since forming in 2012, The Rival has seen incredible TV/Film success with its songs used in everything from Apple’s iPhone 5 launch, to commercials for Target, Nike, Sony, Microsoft, and ESPN. Individually, Phillip and Allen have numerous songwriting credits including Phillip’s #1 country hit “Whiskey In My Water” performed by Tyler Farr, plus Allen Salmon’s credits as a producer, mixer, and writer which includes collaborations with MuteMath, Fleurie, Katie Herzig, and Neulore among others.  

It's not to surprising that an alt-rock duo will come across powerfully, there is usually far more distinction between the instruments for starters.  'My Own Devices' has that power, however you can add in melody an attention grabbing chorus and emotion within this song. The Sands EP sounds very promising.


Catch Prichard - Eskota.

Background - Steeped in Americana, and with a voice that simultaneously conjures Anohni and Leonard Cohen, Catch Prichard is the work of Sawyer Gebauer. He spent several nomadic years living all over Europe and touring in support of his previous project Brittsommar, including stints in Sweden and a dilapidated warehouse in Berlin, before returning back to the US to work on the Eskota EP.

The entirety of the Eskota EP was laid down in one week within the walls of an abandoned grocery store… when he and engineer Brad K. Dollar first arrived, the building was overrun with wasps, and rattlesnake skins littered the floorboards. In time, the space was reclaimed, night fell, and recording began. Sawyer set out to record a collection of sweet and simple songs that exalt narrative as much as they do melody.

The result is Eskota, a five song EP resting somewhere between languid folk and forlorn country, with Sawyer’s weighty baritone gliding over pedal steel and Moog like an oil slick on water. Eskota, like all of Sawyer's work, is a testament to change, but it is change that can be found closer to home.

Beyond the delicate folk/country acoustic music, the first thing that grabbed my attention on this song are the deep and graceful vocals of Sawyer Gebauer. 'Eskota' is one of five Root's type songs and all of them in my opinion, absolutely demand you stop what your doing and listen. That a musician in a genre such as folk or country can continue to surprise or even amaze is quite something, I reckon Catch Prichard has just done that.


Swaai Boys - Dana Of Dendur.

Background - Swaai Boys are proud to announce the newest crumbling desert pop single off their upcoming collection of songs Hot Sand! Dana Of Dendur is based on a love story from Swaai Boys' percussionist Helmut's youth. The Temple of Dendur is an intact Egyptian temple housed in the Sackler Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a high school girlfriend of Helmut's had a summer internship. Her name was Dana. Helmut said she was tasked with categorising hundreds of shabtis in the galleries near the temple -- Egyptian Blue funerary figures -- which was apparently very boring and lonely.

The Swaai Boys were having a few mai tais at the museum's roof garden one summer afternoon when Helmut told his fellow Swaai Boys about the affair -- Helmut would meet Dana at the end of her shift, they would cut the lines, sneak into the temple, throw pennies in the water, and make out under the palms.

Often staying until the museum closed, Helmut and Dana would wander the wing looking at Queen Nefertiti's jewelry and crumbling pharaoh sarcophagus's. At one point, Dana said she knew hieroglyphs, and tried to decipher the insanely long Book of the Dead papyrus which lines a corridor there. They were in paradise, but was all too good to be true. They drifted apart after the summer, and Dana left a fond hole in Helmut's heart. A few weeks later Helmut ran into Dana at an opening at the Hemingway Gallery on 55th Street. She was quite cold and aloof to him. Her wealthy, stuffy parents had never liked Helmut, and she seemed to have grown into the mold.

Swaai Boys 'Dana Of Dendur' is about foiled young love -- how funny and sad it can be watching people grow up and change, sometimes in such a short amount of time. Especially astute in the shadow of a 2000-year old temple preserved immaculately under stippled glass that mimics its original Nubian lighting.

'Dana Of Dendur' is three minutes of bliss. If the story line above doesn't get you, the song should do. The band are members of the renowned Explorers Club, and if their explorations create songs like this, then keep on exploring and charming us please!


Magic Trick - Forest Of Kates.

Background - Magic Trick shares two new tracks from new LP. And it’s a wide variety of shapes you’ll find on this album. Take this less as a conscious display of versatility (although it does demonstrate Cohen & Co.’s ability to shape-shift) and more as a result of the freewheeling, haphazard recording environment described above. A ghostly choir of female voices open the album like a seance. And the spirit they conjure proceeds to flit about over the course of the ensuing ten tracks, animating various stylistic forms, from the baroque pop of “Forest of Kates” to the icy post-punk of “I Held the Ring.” There’s the air-tight R&B groove of “Startling Chimes,” the krauty “Purest Thing,” a jammy side-to-side trot that moves “First Thought” along, taking a detour into country before culminating in a glorious Grateful Dead indebted coda. But throughout, it’s Tim’s lyrics that are pushed to the front of the mix. This album is a display of solid songwriting – collectively fleshed out, but from Tim’s composition book, and with Tim’s lyrics about family and about himself. These songs are the sound of his friends helping him suss through the conflicts of his new dual existence as father and musician, between old self and new.

Magic Trick’s 2013 offering, River of Souls, opens with Cohen asking, “Should we live from the mirrors other side?” Maybe, what you have here on Other Man’s Blues is an attempt to do just that. You can hear that his scope is widening, is being forced to widen by his circumstance. These songs are full of empathy. They reckon with notions of sacrifice and devotion, acknowledge the “winds of desire” and admit that “musings come from below” like a force of nature. Our protagonist is mid-transformation or maybe even pre-transformation. He is able to “regard his gruesome self” only because he is becoming a new man. Both sides are present. Which is the Other Man? Who is Tim Cohen? What is this magic he is trying pull off? Is it a trick? Or true sorcery? Either way, he must evolve.

'Forest Of Kates' is our second song feature for Magic Trick from the forthcoming album and it's another really fine song. Full of melody, exquisite harmonies and beautiful vibes, it compares well with the other track release First Thought which you can also check out Here. The album is eagerly awaited.


Unity Floors - Give and Take.

Background - Mates for a decade Gus Hunt and Henry Gosling have made themselves a strong part of Sydney’s DIY scene as Unity Floors. Their ability to create such a racket performing modestly on guitar and drums, has gained them respect in the scene and make them welcome regulars stages across Australia.

Their commentary of the banal happenings as twenty something’s comes naturally to the pair, their music like a noisy catch-up between old mates. Having never lended their talents to other bands, Unity Floors’ sound has natural fluidity, delivered fast with genuine familiarity and honesty. Their unique set up and ability to create vastly accessible, skuzzy garage tunes has gained them a loyal fanbase over the years.

Their debut LP, Exotic Goldfish Blues (Popfrenzy Records 2013) received great commendation from press and radio and even, surprisingly a feature in The Inbetweeners Two film with their hit single “Nice Fit”. In 2016, the Sydney favourites returned to the studio to record their new album with producer Nick Franklin. Life Admin is the result and once again it showcases the boys’ ability to belt out one great honest and crappy tune after another. 'Life Admin' is released on Friday 23rd September on Popfrenzy Records.

Live Dates:
Saturday 8th October 2016 - Brisbane Hotel, Hobart TAS 
Saturday 22nd October 2016 - Old Bar, Melbourne VIC 
Friday 28th October 2016 - Chippendale Hotel, Sydney NSW

Another powerful duo Unity Floors song 'Give and Take' has a back to basics feel to it, cutting out everything but guitar, drums and vocals and creating some very decent indie rock. It's highly likable as is the video.