Friday, 9 December 2016

Weekend Wonders: Elouise - The Tiger & Me - Honeymilk - Gutxi Bibang - Eleven North

Elouise - Silent Night.

Background - Fueled by a sordid real-life backdrop of good old fashioned suicides, murders, and alcoholic depravity followed by church on Sunday, Elouise is an eccentric collaboration of Los Angeles-based musicians who came together to create an ominous, raw and cinematic genre of music they identify as Blackgrass.

It is the sound of sin and salvation mixed in a dark cocktail with a taste of Bluegrass, a black symphonic sound and weary emotional vocals that tell original tales of struggle and re-imagine songs from our collective Americana consciousness.

Elouise is back with their menacing Blackgrass rendition of the Holiday classic “Silent Night” and are offering a free download for the month of December. Website here.

Move aside seasonal slush, no room for sentimental songs here today. This is how you do 'Silent Night', followed by a large measure of Bourbon and ice (I'm guessing that's an acceptable brew for alcoholic depravity)...


The Tiger & Me - Sleep The Night Alone.

Background - In anticipation of their forthcoming third album, Melbourne quartet The Tiger & Me have announced the release of their new single ‘Sleep The Night Alone’ and its accompanying clip.

Intrepid by nature, with three lead singers and a multitude of instruments, The Tiger & Me is a sound that refuses to sit still. Produced by ARIA-nominated Steven Schram (San Cisco, The Cat Empire), ‘Sleep The Night Alone’ is a dance pop track about the corner of the life you abandoned, and how you got there in the first place.

‘Sleep The Night Alone’ is out through ABC Music imprint “Four | Four” (Tim Rogers, Melbourne Ska Orchestra), who also guided the release of the band’s second full-length album, The Drifter’s Dawn, which took out album of the week on PBS and racked up airplay across JJJ, 4ZZZ, Triple R, Edge Radio & RTRFM.

To accompany ‘Sleep The Night Alone’, The Tiger & Me have released a clip for the track as well as b-side ‘When All The World Went Dark’, originally an acoustic folk song written by Tobias Selkirk (vocals & guitars) on a ukulele while travelling through South America. Website here.

'Sleep The Night Alone' mixes really fine vocals and harmonies with a melodic and slightly understated soundtrack, resulting in a likable and danceable indie pop song.


Honeymilk - The Nothing New.

Background - Sweden's Honeymilk has been around for 4 years but just recently scaled down to a duo (from a previous four piece). We all have our ups and downs and the story of how the two main figures Marcus Admund and Nikki Nyberg hold on to each other since meeting in a scout cabin back in 2009 is one full of fighting spirit and love for the music they're creating.

At the moment they're in studio working on the follow up to critically acclaimed 2013 debut "Lean on The Sun" (and 2014's "Sanguine Skies EP"). Their shoegazy Britpop has gained supporters all over the world - notable ones are KEXP, Q Magazine, Jajaja Music and Music Week.

In June 2016 their latest effort "Time Will Kill You" soon turned into their most succesful single to this date - with playlists adds and media ravings flowing in to the HQ. The band play a sold out show at The Finsbury in London and the single soon hit 140k+ streams on Spotify.

'The Nothing New' could be about finding yourself in an age and situation where the demands that hunts you are increasing; the same that it takes more alcohol to get drunk, it takes greater and greater everyday explosions for the static line that life has gradually turned into to be moved. It could also be a pretentious and unclear salute to both Samuel Beckett's book Murphy or Spacemen 3. Or it could be a very good pop song that means nothing.

With a slick beat and distinctive vocals 'The Nothing New' builds into a fine and refreshing indie piece with enough hooks to guarantee another play for my ears.


Gutxi Bibang - System of a Gun.

Background - Gutxi Bibang is an unlikely candidate to carry the rock n’ roll torch, a second-generation African from the Basque county of Spain. On the heels of his debut single, Gutxi shares an incredibly powerful video for "System Of A Gun" after his debut U.S. performance last night at Communion NYC.

His family emigrated to the tiny coast town of Algorta outside of Bilbao, but native son Gutxi Bibang has more in common with larger-than-life musical icons than he does his Basque countrymen. Even his unique moniker speaks of his cultural clash heritage – Gutxi, a common nickname in his Basque homeland, and Bibang, from his roots in Africa. 

With his distinctive manner and impeccable style, Gutxi Bibang exudes charisma - not just a reminder of when rock was a socio-cultural force for change in the ‘60s and ‘70s, but a glimpse into the music’s global future.

It's strange how sometimes a music video can add clarity to a song. 'System of a Gun' came my way a couple of weeks back in audio form, and for whatever reason it didn't register with me. Watching the 'live' video made things click, the band are feisty, Gutxi is a natural rock'n'roller, and the songs home is in a hot and packed venue, where the music plays all night long, simple really!


Eleven North - Words From The Wise.

Background from the band - Words From the Wise is about the roads that life sets before us, and the choices we make to define ourselves. 

As a band we are currently wrapping things up in studio and we are excited to be releasing a full length album in the new year. The single, “Words From The Wise” with the same title was an easy choice for the band with its big sound, explosive energy and a message that reminds us to be more selfless in our choices.

We've been working on creating an unparallelled and highly entertaining live show that we can share with our listeners. This year we have had the privilege of sharing the stage with artists such as: Juno winner Dear Rouge, Australia's The Lazy’s, West Coast Music winner Michael Bernard Fitzgerald, East Coast Music winner Andy Brown, and Edge Next Big Thing winner Ivory Hours.

Overall we have tallied up over one-hundred shows this year from coast to coast and we don't plan on stopping anytime soon! Website here and Facebook here.

'Words From The Wise' is an energised alt rock song (or maybe indie, or whatever, it's hard to pin down). Vocals add depth and the musicianship is tight and funky. Forthcoming album most definitely on my radar now!


Thursday, 8 December 2016

Triple Treasure: Asia i Koty - Every Kid Knows - Circus Devils

Asia i Koty - I'm Gonna Use My Claws.

Background - The second album entitled “Sing” was released on 2 April 2016 on Nasiono Records label that Bielawska has been associated with from the very beginning of her career. As the title indicates, this album is about singing and vocals play a major role in it. Asia i Koty intertwines various musical inspirations here, among which one can sense the spirit of Angel Olsen, Cat Power or Julianna Barwick. The music is based on the sound of an electric guitar but Joanna Bielawska also reaches for an acoustic guitar, piano, loops her instruments or enhances them with a subtle beat. The artist states that this album is about the importance of singing songs in her life and about a constant struggle with herself, about the barriers we create for ourselves:

“Sing” is a chronicle of my battle with depression, pathologically low self-esteem and persisting lack of faith in myself. The songs were written without any prior planning – they are the result of spontaneous home recording sessions which occurred when I had a chance to turn my self-loathing into creative energy. The song “Sing” is about a constant state of self-doubt which paralyses and prevents from doing anything most of the time. “Miracle I Hate” is presenting my fascination with how the state of depression can totally distort the perception of oneself. Because how is it possible to relish the world that surrounds you and at the same time thoroughly hate yourself and your life which after all is a miracle too? “In the Morning” is about the strokes of hope and life energy – and how quickly they tend to slip through your fingers. “All I Ask Take My Hand” is about the things a depressed person expects from their loved ones. Depression destroys not only the person suffering from it but also the loved ones who tend to take responsibility for the illness. Even though they are not to blame in the slightest. In most of the cases, depression has nothing to do with whatever is happening around us. It comes and goes without any notice. In a slip of a second it can take the whole meaning of life away, but not forever. That’s why sometimes it’s enough just to hold each other’s hands and to wait for the meaning to come back. Facebook here.

During December we receive a good number of messages from various agencies and record labels reminding us of their releases for the year. This is where we come across the odd gem that has slipped past us, and 'I'm Gonna Use My Claws' by Asia i Koty, is one such example. This is a gorgeous song from the equally delightful album 'Sing'.


Every Kid Knows - Dandelions & Valium.

Background - Every Kid Knows are a set of musicians led by band leader JT Johnstone. From the heaven-sent sounds of psychedelia reminiscent of peak Lennon with a twist of Beck you will find a) side ‘Dandelions & Valium’ released at the start of 2017 bringing a message of hope and peace after what was a tumultuous 2016. b) side ‘Runway Song’ is one of those classic B cuts that offer humorous insight into a band of pals bantering around in the studio before breaking into a most delicate lilting lullaby that sustains its title, as you envision the plane you’re on gathering speed along the runway as you peer out the window, contemplative as you take to the sky in pursuit of some newfoundland.

Both tracks take on the twisted acoustics and alien electronics to infiltrate their heady 70s tinged mix, courtesy of classic Roland TB 303s and Korg synths and it’s plain to see some key influences for this record along the totem pole of John Lennon Plastic Ono, Ween, A Guy Called Gerald, New Order/Electronic and John Denver.

Every Kid Knows recently soft launched their debut album ‘Defenders Of The Nish’ on Spotify/iTunes etc. Lead singer Johnstone describes the LP as, “the ‘Bleach’ to Nirvana’s ‘Nevermind’ which is soon to be recorded in 2017 at Sawmills in Cornwall.” This comes across either as the ramblings of an egomaniacal cult curator drawn from the mould of Anton Newsome (Brian Jonestown Massacre) and Ian Brown (Stone Roses) or maybe even the zeitgeist of Kanye West. Arrogant and cocksure or just knowingly brilliant? Time will tell.
  Website here and Facebook here.

'Dandelions & Valium' has more than a little psychedelic flavour to it, and the above mentioned influences are clearly there. That said' it's a fine, peaceful and dreamy song, and there is still plenty of room for songs of this calibre.


Circus Devils - Do The Nixon.

Background - Robert Pollard’s freak-rock trio Circus Devils says farewell with a pair of simultaneous releases for 2017. First is their 14th and final album Laughs Last, along with a best-of, double LP collection titled Laughs Best: The Kids Eat It Up (with DVD included).

On Laughs Last, Pollard and the Tobias brothers take a breathless romp through multiple styles, starting off with the brash hotdogger, ‘Get Out Of My Way When I’m In Town.’  Along the way we’re treated to the R.E.M. inflected ‘I Do the Nixon,’ the organ-fuzz stomper ‘Teenage Rooster,’ and the defiantly conventional ‘Crucified by The British Press.’   Full of high humor and low drama, Laughs Last is the bold exclamation point at the end of Circus Devils’ 16-year run.

Laughs Best (The Kids Eat it Up) – a collection of 30 speedy deliveries from rock and roll’s Twilight Zone – will leave you exhausted, satisfied, and ready for another spin.  Circus Devils’ entire mind-bending catalogue is represented here, including three songs from the brand new album Laughs Last.  While there is an emphasis on friendlier numbers, there is still plenty of the trio’s prog psychedelia on display. Release date for both albums: February 24, 2017.

'Do The Nixon' gives just a little insight into the final Circus Devils album due in February 2017. It's one of seventeen tracks where keeping things under three minutes and two if possible is the norm, and yet each track is packed with enough to keep the listener engaged. A best of album will also be released on the same date. So another band says enough! and as we have noted here already this year, going out on a high, seems the best way to wrap things up, something I feel Robert Pollard's trio have done with ease.


Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Midweek Muse: Hana Oceans - Hollow Everdaze - Ministry - Samson's Delilah

Hana Oceans - Invincible Borders.

Background - Hana Oceans has released her first, highly acclaimed single 'Invincible Borders'​ from her forthcoming EP. Hana from Gothenburg, Sweden, started making music after gaining inspiration whilst travelling the world at a young age. Hana is fiercely passionate about art, and committed to inspiring people through her music, Hana began studying at Berklee College of Music in Boston prior to releasing her critically acclaimed debut EP “Dust” in 2015. Hana's incredible voice coupled with her ability to write powerful and melodic songs led to Spotify announcing her as one of their featured artists within their 'Spotlight 2016' campaign. Hana now has a growing international fan base which has contributed to over 2 million digital streams on Spotify ​alone.

Up until the day that Hana started making music she had felt lost at sea with all of her ideas, emotions and creativity. On finding her calling Hana has developed a strong commitment to raising awareness of environmental and social issues through her music. Hana takes in inspiration from pop, cinematic music and electro with influence from ranging from artists Ane Brun, Highasakite and Florence and The Machine.

‘Invincible Borders’​ showcases Hana​'s enchanting vocals as she turns the attention of her lyrics in a more sinister direction than on the critically acclaimed 'Dust EP'. 'Invincible Borders' ​tackles the Immigration crisis that Europe is still struggling to come to terms with. 

Hana says: “I can't be happy in a world where people have to risk dying at sea for the hope of a better life, only to be blocked by borders if they are lucky enough to reach dry land. It upsets me that over 60 million citizens of the earth are fleeing from conflicts. Nobody should have to live in fear and the more that people start to organise the more chance we have of affecting the politics that have led to so many people facing uncertainty every day. However, I want people to know 'Invincible Borders' is not about all of the negativity surrounding this political crisis. This song is a reminder that there is hope in the world, and that hope is represented by unity only.” Facebook here.

I think the expression atmospheric pretty well summarises the opening part of 'Invincible Borders'. A song with a message, the video brings this further to life, and Hana Ocean's vocals are so well suited for the piece. A juxtaposition between negativity and hope it may well be, sometimes music is a good place to challenge our thinking, whatever the issue, and a song as good as this really helps engage the heart and the brain...


Hollow Everdaze - Still Ticking.

Background - Australian band Hollow Everdaze have shared their new video for "Still Ticking". The band explains that the song has "themes of brutal honesty, romance and patience." It's off their upcoming debut album 'Cartoons', out early next year.

Drenched in reverbed lushness, Hollow Everdaze have been reimagining psychedelic pop since they began in 2007 by lead vocalist, Dan Baulch and bassist, Jackson Kay in their small town hometown of Bacchus Marsh in Western Victoria.

Having spent the last year working on the release of their debut full-length album, recorded by rising Melbourne producer, John Lee (known for his work with Beaches, Lost Animal, The Ocean Party), mastered by David Walker (NUN, Beaches, GOAT, Jen Cloher) at Stepford Audio, and with video and art collaborations from James Thomson, Niv Bavarsky and Micheal Olivo, the band are set to unveil their newest work to the world.

Debut single and title-track, "Still Ticking" is soaked in woozy twang and Myles Anderson’s signature swooning violin. It perfectly captures the Australian indie rock ensemble’s delicate melodic layering, while it reintroduces frontman Daniel Baulch’s raspy romanticism and Sixties-style craftsmanship.

Hollow Everdaze capture the urgency of a band who –after settling into their current five-piece line-up – have traced their own weird, divergent path through the haunted backwoods of song-writing. It shows through in their stunning debut EP, released in 2013 which received rave reviews from Australia’s most highly respected journalists and earned them support spots for international artists including The War On Drugs (US), Unknown Mortal Orchestra (NZ) and Wavves (US), plus saw them join American Football (US) on their East Coast tour of Australia in 2015. Facebook here.

With a light and refreshing acoustic start the song 'Still Ticking' soon develops into a very fine track, where vocals and violin dance around each other and the psychedelic vibes are never far off.


Ministry - I See Red.

Background - Cleopatra Records will be releasing the long-awaited 'Trax! Rarities' double album by industrial-alternative rock legends Ministry, led by the outspoken super talented Al Jourgensen. This is a special limited edition double LP collection of early rare tracks and versions from Wax Trax!-era Ministry, as well as several previously unreleased gems from Al Jourgensen-related side projects - namely Revolting Cocks, PTP, Pailhead and 1000 Homo DJs. 

Scheduled for release on December 9th, this new Ministry collection will be pressed on clear vinyl with a printed inner sleeve.  Super fans will also be pleased to learn that this double LP includes the very rare Revolting Cocks track 'Drums Along The Carbide!' For over 30 years, Al Jourgensen has proven himself to be the undisputed king of industrial music, godfathering a genre that millions have grown to love. He is the only original member of Ministry remaining since the band’s formation in 1981.

Originally a new wave synthpop band with melodic and stylized output compared to to the more aggressive music for which they would eventually become known, as embodied in such tracks as ‘The Game Is Over’, ‘Let’s Be Happy’ and ‘Same Old Madness’. Ministry ultimately changed their style, resulting in them becoming an industrial metal pioneer in the mid-1980s. This 'Trax! Rarities' release celebrates hidden gem from their early days.

Ministry inspired numerous groups, including Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson and KMFDM. Jourgensen continues to influence and morph, both in his style and music. While the latter is deeply rooted in Industrial, he is still creating new forms as most recently can be heard in his latest project SMM (Surgical Meth Machine). A multi Gold and Platinum selling artist, his drive to entertain has seen him play the part of producer, musician, author and composer. Website here, Facebook here.

'I See Red' is but a toe in the water, regarding the 'Trax! Rarities' collection, now being released as a limited edition vinyl double LP. Still it's a massive excuse to share a song, on this occasion that's enough!


Samson's Delilah - Mr. Gorey.

Background - There is a fierceness, an intensity here woven through the soundscape that is Samson's Delilah, that pulls you in to the depths of your soul and that resonates long after the last note has been delivered. Utterly captivating, Samson’s Delilah is heavily influenced by Latin guitar, reggae, rock opera and other world music and driven with thought provoking songwriting. The thread of the "guroove" runs deep, and you will not be disappointed by the fusion and spell that they weave.

Seth Macdonald and Shara Gustafson, are well known on the Northern Alberta and B.C. festival scene having made their mark in the funk/rock/reggae/world groove high energy dance band "Mamaguroove”.   With Samson’s Delilah, Seth & Shara have ventured into new musical territory.

The dream team band behind and beside them is Dan Barton (every single band in Red Deer, Alberta) on drums, Tim Bennett of Adelaide, Australia ( Aurora Jane &  Formidable Vegetable Sound System, Digging Roots) on bass and third part harmony vocals as well as sought after "beast of the fiddle" from Calgary, Scott Duncan on violin.

They have opened for Alex Cuba, Matt Andersen, Sultans of String and Oscar Lopez. They have shared the stage and performed with Rachelle Van Zanten, Linda McRae, Digging Roots, Jack Garton, Pharis Romero, Don Alder, Delhi To Dublin, Adrian Glynn, Maria in the Shower, Lester Quitzau and more.

In their "spare" time, they are the organizers of the annual Robson Valley Music Festival. Shara and Seth are actors & musicians in the Robson Valley Theatre Collective & Wishbone Theatre productions that produces a show every Fall.  They are also bio diesel producers and forestry contractors, music makers, and gardeners living in the rural hamlet of Dunster B.C. The band's full length album. "Unfinished Humans" was released in June 2016. They will be performing at the Cold Snap and Tongue On The Post Winter Music Festivals this coming January ’17 and February ’17 as well as a few smatterings of shows in Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan.

'Mr Gorey' is the eleventh and final track on the album 'Unfinished Humans' an album that somehow passed us by in the summer. Still better late than never, I would suggest that liking the featured song, equals check out the whole album.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Genre Wander: Tammy - Seldom Few - James Sayer - Ivey - Linnea Olsson

Tammy - Doing Something Right.

Background - Indie-folk duo Tammy share their newest tune, "Doing Something Right". The irresistible track is off Tammy's upcoming LP titled This set for release December 16, 2016.

"We had grown accustomed to writing songs about breakups and unrequited love and after a while, realized that we should write about the other side of love, the good side of it I's a song about appreciating a new love and that feeling of trusting that it's gonna last. We went a little further in the country direction than we usually do with this one. That vibe seemed to suit the lyrics. We recorded it with Andrew Oedel at Connecticut College where we held the sessions for the whole record. They had an upright bass and this song is the only one we did with that bass," says Tammy of "Doing Something Right".

2016 has been an exciting year for Tammy. "Hated It (With You)", the lead single off This was given high praise from notable music site, Consequence of Sound: "Vocalist Brooke's smoky voice plays off her bandmate Aaron's arpeggiated chords to form a seductive one-two punch that plenty of listeners will be powerless to resist." Their follow-up single titled "Away For The Weekend" exclusively premiered with Pancakes & Whiskey who wrote, "This gorgeous song premiere by TAMMY immediately entrances us with hushed guitar and the line -'Traveled on horseback to get, under your skin.' That line, while striking, is just the beginning of a four-minute adventure of love, loss and the need to get away from it all. The lyrics that are sung beautifully, wash over us like a warm blanket on a stormy night while the soothing guitar and minimal percussion is like a big inviting mug of Hot Toddy."

Tammy has announced a New York City show date on December 7th, 2016 at hotspot Berlin. Tammy's This LP will be available to stream and download on December 16, 2016. Website here, Facebook here.

Third time around on Beehive Candy this year for Tammy and this time with 'Doing Something Right'. Once again the gentle acoustic back drop makes a splendid foundation for the vocals and consistently pleasing melodies and harmonies. There are some more goodies on the forthcoming album!


Seldom Few - Barely A Moon.

Background from one of the band (and a short and sweet one at that) - My name is Ali Murray. I am a songwriter/musician from the isle of Lewis in Scotland.

I currently play in a band called Seldom Few. We are an atmospheric rock trio from the western isles of Scotland. We just recently released our self-titled debut album. 

Musically it's kind of a mix of post-hardcore, dreampop, gothic post-punk and shoegaze. We just called it atmospheric rock to keeps things simple, and because I hate describing my own sound haha. Facebook here.

Well I guess one effect of receiving a minimalist email is I get straight on the listening! 'Barely A Moon' is the first of eight tracks on the bands debut album, and highlights the meaty, expansive sound the trio produce. They comfortably drift between genres, however Seldom Few retain a consistent sound throughout and it's perhaps the change in tempo's rather than a wholesale change of direction between songs, that makes the album really work.


James Sayer - Sweet Baby Jane.

Background - James Sayer is a singer-songwriter, known throughout London for his session work & shows at the capital’s swankiest piano bars.

Hailing from Birmingham, James’ fascination and love of music began at a very young age when he learnt all things Rock n Roll through artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Elton John and Billy Joel. James moved to London in 2012 where he became a gigging musician, performing almost every night in piano bars, clubs and pubs. Eventually James met American producer, Alan Glass (Mis-Teeq, Kenny G), and they began working on James’ debut material. By early 2015, James had recorded an album's worth of demo recordings, and they were passed on to five time Grammy winner and former member of The Doobie Brothers, Michael McDonald.

Blown away by his music, Michael then contacted James with the opportunity for a U.S. tour with BBC Radio 1 breakthrough act Ruen Brothers. During which time they supported George Ezra, played Coachella, and even snagged a live recording session with legendary producer Rick Rubin.

Later that year, James finished his first piece of solo work - ‘Taking Back My Love’. A pure representation of what James’ sound embodies - musicianship, passion & a bit of danceability! The Follow-Up Sweet Baby Jane, see’s James at his vintage best. Influences range from the big band sound, to jazz & all out feel-good pop. The stand-out feature is James’ musical flair & love of songwriting. It’s a track that will leave the listener with a smile, as well as appealing to an audience of elitist music fans. Facebook here.

Live London Dates:
The Savoy, Beaufort Bar - 9th, 15th, 16th, 22nd, 30th December
Charing Cross Theatre, Players Bar - 3rd, 10th, 17th Decenber
The Ritz - New Year's Day.

'Sweet Baby Jane' is a vibrant, punchy song, with piano, rhythm and horns providing a potent backdrop for James Sayer's superb vocals. Add in the background harmonies, and this is one floor filling danceable upbeat and fun fuelled song!


Ivey - Last Week.

Background - Simultaneously hitting the books, either at high school or university, and playing packed-out shows to adoring fans, Ivey craft indie-pop that's primed for dance floor shenanigans. Tightening the screws since appearing on the scene in 2013, the Gold Coast quartet exude boundless charisma and magnetism with their music.

Premiered by Music Feeds, Ivey are brimming with delight to today release their new single into the world. After ceaselessly kicking goals with their previous single, 'All Things Good', new track, 'Last Week', is out today via Gd Frnds.

Unabashedly fronted by Millie, (16) Lachlan (19) and backed by Matthew (17) and Dante (20) filling out the rhythm, Ivey hit home with their passionate pursuit for danceable indie tunes. The young purveyors of songwriting craft sounds that far exceeds their aptitude and 'Last Week' is no different.

Highly infectious and executed so effortlessly, 'Last Week' is a massive, mature leap in terms of resonance for the group. Once again produced by George Carpenter (Waxhead, Jimmy the Saint & the Sinners, Karl S. Williams), acts as a quip to anyone who's fallen in love in mere hours. Shimmering guitars, hooks-a-plenty and the distinctive duo harmonies of Millie and Lachlan power this song through its breezy four minutes.

Ivey are not only maturing as musicians, but are doing it with style and ease. Continuing to further their gleaming, indie-pop sound that fans have come to adore just reaffirms the group's much deserved, unremitting success. Facebook here.

Back in July when we featured the band for the first time we said "Ivey runs the risk of too many age related comments, because it's such an excellent and well developed song". Well they clearly have the knack for doing so over and over as new song 'Last Week' well demonstrates. Less beach pop and more indie rock, the band have clearly an ear for hooks and a talent for developing really fine songs.


Linnea Olsson - Weekend.

Background - The fantasy pop cellist Linnea Olsson drops her new single 'Weekend'.
Having worked with the likes of Peter Gabriel, Sting, Ane Brun and Maia Hirasawa, Linnea leaves no doubt regarding the high level of her talent and musicianship.

Being supported by The New York Times, Linnea's sonic journey within the "cello driven fantasy pop" continues. The beautiful, soft and enchanting new single "Weekend" is out now!

Website here and Facebook here.

OK, so not much is being given away regarding Linnea Olsson except as far as I can establish the words above. Well I guess when a song is as good as 'Weekend' teasing those in the dark might as well be accepted, let the music do the talking and so forth. In fairness it does more than talk, it's a beautiful piece where vocals and cello merge in wonderful harmony. Superb!


Monday, 5 December 2016

Monday Marvels: Firebug - Thom Worth - Allo Darlin'

Firebug - Strange Days.

Background - More than ever, Americans are searching for the type of escapism that can rescue them from the polarising economic, political, and social chaos of today’s world. Luckily, New Orleans psychedelic indie rockers Firebug have provided a most welcome refuge with their optimistic and soaring new single “Strange Days.”Set for a December 2 release, “Strange Days” is the third song taken from Firebug’s upcoming full-length album, Homeostasis. Co-produced by Chris Goss (Queens of The Stone Age, Arctic Monkeys), Homeostasis is set for a late December release. More information on Homeostasis and Firebug is available on the band’s official website here.
Frontwoman Juliette Tworsey describes “Strange Days” as “the perspective of an onlooker who has a strong desire for escapism from the daily woes and struggles of the average person.” The song is a “step back from a world that appears, on the surface, to be increasingly polarized.” With typical Firebug optimism, Tworsey also notes that “Strange Days” encourages listeners to “push on and do the best we can.”

Fueled by Tworsey and multi-instrumentalist Jules Shapiro, Firebug embrace a variety of musical genres, including soul, ’60s/’70s rock, ’90s alternative, and modern rock. Tworsey’s charismatic presence helps the outspoken singer stand out, earning her comparisons to rock icons Chrissie Hynde and Grace Slick.

Based in New Orleans, Tworsey and Shapiro are inspired by the city itself and its rich musical history. Upon their arrival in New Orleans from Los Angeles, the duo performed as street musicians in the French Quarter. “We met so many talented musicians on the street,” Shapiro remembers. “It was a real awakening for us. New Orleans has inspired new ideas that we’ve incorporated into our sound and our songwriting.”
Bandcamp here and Facebook here.

'Strange Days' is a good blast of rock energy, with Juliette Tworsey's bluesy vocals giving the piece some real feeling. Whether it's enough to escape from today's mad world is open for debate, however for just under four minutes you can get your 'air' guitar out and lay downs some riffs....


Thom Worth - Oh! Lucinda.

Background - With it’s floaty slacker riffs and sugar sweet melodies, Thom Worth’s new single ‘Oh! Lucinda’ is three minutes of finely crafted pop perfection. Essentially exploring the age-old tension between the hot-flushes of a new relationship and the cyclical melancholic torment of heartbreak, ‘Oh! Lucinda’ is both a celebration of young love and a lament on the deceptiveness of it. Worth’s falsetto, doo-wop backing, and angelic chorus-soaked guitars make for an immediately gratifying listen. The composition originally began shortly after Worth returned from working abroad in 2015, and he wrote it with a view to making the most infectious song he could. Recorded live with members of London-based band The Lodgers, it was produced by Worth himself and Dan Joseph Clarke. It’s an incredibly accomplished single from the young melody maker with the sort of effortless zest for songwriting that recalls heroes like Paul McCartney and Morrissey. “My music is inspired by many of the great melody makers from the from the past 5 decades, rich and instant in melody and colourful in progression. I like to get into people’s heads”

An encounter with an amateur local musical was to be a formative experience for the ten-year-old south-west Londoner Thom Worth. The show instilled in him a love for performance and a desire to take to the stage himself. His mother eventually secured an audition for him with the theatre company and through that Worth took his first tentative steps into performance, spending many years performing in a variety of different lead roles. After training as an actor, Worth then became an autodidactic musician - teaching himself guitar, drums, bass and piano along the way. By age 16 Thom was writing music and consuming it voraciously as he made for himself a kind of curriculum of popular music.

Locking himself in his room to sing along to the back-catalogues of artists like Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Smiths, The Beatles, Bruce Springsteen, The Chili Peppers, Manic Street Preachers, Radiohead, Leonard Cohen, and Elbow, Thom developed himself as an artist to the point where he felt comfortable to launch his career. Still only at the start, Thom has nevertheless played at the IOW, Green Man and Victorious festivals. After collaborating with engineer and producer James Welch of Masterlink Productions, Thom released his first EP on March 2014 to a sold-out show at The Half Moon in Putney. Now Thom is poised for acclaim, his latest single ‘Oh! Lucinda’ is a pop masterstroke, and the sound of an artist reaching the height of their craft. With infectious writing like Thom’s there’s no doubt he cuts one of the more invigorating paths on the indie circuit today.

Live: Saturday 10th December, The Finsbury. Website here, Facebook here.

Thom Worth has a very natural singing voice, one that retains a little roughness, which in turn adds edge and commitment, something that really lights up a melodic song like 'Oh! Lucinda'.


Allo Darlin' - Hymn On The 45.

Background - Allo Darlin’ are all set to release a final single to coincide with their sold out farewell shows in December. Comprised of two brand new recordings by the band, “Hymn On The 45” and "Wanderlust", it's due out as a limited edition gold vinyl 7” on the 12th December via Fortuna POP! and The Hangover Lounge, and will be available exclusively at the sold-out London gigs on the 10th December at Moth Club and the 11th December at Scala. The tracks will also be available to purchase digitally via the band's Bandcamp.

The A-side “Hymn On The 45”, weaves Elizabeth Morris’ heartfelt lyrics about starting afresh in a new city with guitarist Paul Rain’s signature stylings, ending with a heartwarming sing-a-long. The B-side “Wanderlust”, about missing people and places whilst embarking on your own adventures, is classic Allo Darlin’ fare, blending poignant melancholia with bright and sunny pop melodies.

The band have also announced the supports for their three sold out London farewell shows: Night Flowers play the all-ages matinee show at Moth Club on the 10th December, with The Hayman Kupa Band supporting at the same venue in the evening, while Allo Darlin' bassist Bill Botting and his band of indie allstars The Two Drink Minimums open at Scala on Sunday 11th December, with the main support being comedian Josie Long. Facebook here.

Another band who have chosen to go out on a high with the wonderful new song 'Hymn On The 45'. It's a delightful indie pop track that oozes melody and hooks both musically and with the so fine vocals and harmonies, love it!