Thursday, 30 July 2015

Thursdays Top Two - Hanna In The Wars & Ilana J

Hannah In The Wars - 'Only Wanna Be'

Background Info - Songwriter Hannah Curwood originates from the stark, remote region of Central Otago in New Zealand. Now based in London, Hannah in the Wars is the result of working alongside Roger O'Donnell of The Cure and a handpicked group of musicians.

Hannah in the Wars' eponymous debut album, released earlier this year, is a collection of beautifully written melodies and emotionally engaging narratives, taking inspiration from life's trials and triumphs and perfectly showcasing Curwood’s distinctive and powerful vocals.

Both 'Only Wanna Be' and B-side 'Sweet Release', lifted from the critically acclaimed album, were written following the breakdown of a relationship and Curwood's decision to move half way around the world to start afresh. Of the songs, she says their creation came easily and, despite the subject matter, they have come to occupy a positive space in her mind, particularly after seeing them so well received by audiences on her recent two month tour across the UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Berlin.

I have spent the last few minutes going back through all the new music features since we returned, as I could not understand why I have not featured Hanna In The Wars already. Three times I have been sent info on Hanna since April and finally my ears discover her beautiful music. 'Only Wanna Be' is lifted off of the wonderful debut album, the B-side is equally superb and you can find out more on the Bandcamp page (here). If you like the single, the album is a definite for your collection.

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Ilana J - Free Falling From The Ground Up

Background Info - Ilana J is a British singer songwriter. Having turned down the opportunity to enter the prestigious London College of Music at thirteen in favour of a more traditional academic education, a successful healthcare career followed, but her soul has always craved a more creative outlet.

Following an extended visit to the US in 2008, Ilana made the decision to devote her life to songwriting and recording, diving into intensive musical training on both the guitar and the piano, and immediately writing prolifically, as if the lyrics had always been there just waiting to find their way out.

Ilana J's musical style has evolved naturally, influenced by the likes of Sting, Coldplay and Keane, and although her musical journey has been a solitary one, her passion has brought her to the attention of key people who have worked with her to nurture her talents. A chance meeting with Mark Alexander, ex-keyboard player with Meat Loaf, has resulted in him becoming her producer.

The resulting debut EP 'Free Falling From The Ground Up' is inspired by how she feels now that music is back in her life where it belongs; " I am letting the music and the lyrics 'free fall' out of me and am growing everyday from the 'ground up' which is intensely fulfilling on a whole new level".

The six track record has provided a single which will be released on September 14th 2015. Entitled 'Paper Planes', the track was inspired by her trauma as a teenager when her younger brother tragically died. With the passing of the years the pain has receded and this song is dedicated to his memory with a message of hope and peace. The accompanying video, filmed in New York City, will be released in the first week of September.

Ilana's songs express simple and heartfelt themes of love, joy and real life; influenced by her own life stories and her core values of love and appreciation for the beauty of the world we live in.

I feel like I am being spoilt today. Ilana J just has 'that something' which takes a fine song to a higher level. Well crafted words, a voice that infuses, and music that could not be more complimentary if anyone tried. I may be to old to be a gushing fan, so I will just calmly say, another one for the music collection. Website (here).

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Wednesday, 29 July 2015

2015 - Out Of Our Inbox - July - Four

Baby In Vain - Muscles - The low down - Copenhagen’s all girl rock trio Baby In Vain recently released  a disorientating blues-sludge and ferocious new single ‘Muscles.’ Despite having an average age of under 20, these three musicians have amassed acclaim across the globe and shared stages with the likes of Ty Segall and Thurston Moore and are about to embark on a two week run opening up for The Kills. They kicked things off in LA a couple of days back and will return to LA for a headline slot at The Echo on August 11. 

‘Muscles’ comes as the band put the finishing touches to their debut album, due for release late 2015. Baby In Vain take the templates laid out by the likes of Black Sabbath, MC5 and The Melvins and skew them with youthful, experimental abandon, to create something completely unique and truly invigorating.  It is filthy rock with dirty guitar riffs, complex and detail rich compositions, ear catching hooks, and screeching callback vocals. Being but 19-21 years of age, the three girls have impressively fast found their own place in a genre most often dominated by middle aged men.

Saturday  August 1- St Andrews Hall, Detroit, MI w/ The Kills
Sunday August 2 - Metro, Chicago, IL w/ The Kills
*OFFICIAL LOLLAPALOOZA AFTER SHOW*
Monday August 3 - First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN w/ The Kills
Wednesday August 5 - Ogden Theatre, Denver, CO w/ The Kills
Friday August 7 - Neurolux, Boise, ID 
Saturday August 8 - Roseland Theatre, Portland, OR w/ The Kills
Monday August 10 - Brick & Mortar, San Francisco, CA
Tuesday August 11 - The Echo, Los Angeles, CA.

You just would not mess with this band. Move aside my aged rocker friends your jobs have been taken. Should The Kills not be opening for Baby In Vain?

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Ethan Tucker - Little Wing (cover) What you need to know - Singer songwriter Ethan Tucker is definitely staying busy as he wrapped up his recent tour with John Butler Trio and prepares to hit the road again starting August 22. With the recent release of his album Misunderstood, Ethan Tucker is receiving accolades for the impressive collection of diverse and well produced songs. Steadily building his fan base Ethan Tucker looks forward to meet his fans and gain new ones while on tour.

Still riding high off his recent performance this past Spring at the Cali Roots Festival with his band, as well as guest appearances on during the sets of Michael Franti, Slightly Stoopid and G-Love, Tucker has garnered a growing fan base, which appreciates his authentic delivery of his songs.

Performing songs from his third studio album, Misunderstood as well as some signature covers, fans can anticipate seeing Tucker strip his performance down to his voice and guitar alone, showcasing his ability to connect with his audience through his music and leaving his heart and soul on stage is an attribute the fans admire and love!

Ethan is looking forward to the collaboration with the legendary Buddy Guy as he opens up for him for the second time this year.  The first stint had Ethan opening for Buddy Guy in the heart of Texas, now on the East Coast Sept 26th - Oct 2nd.

August 22 - Tacoma, WA - Jazzbones
August 26 - Salt Lake City, UT - Complex
August 27 - Boise, ID - The Reef
August 28 - Ketchum, ID - Whiskey Jacques
September 19 - Lincoln, CA - Thunder Vibes Fest - w/Michael Franti, Soja
September 26 - Virginia Beach, VA - Sandler Center for Performing Arts - w/Buddy Guy
September 30 - New Brunswick, NJ - State Theater - w/Buddy Guy
October 1 - Hampton Beach, NH - Hampton Beach Casino - w/Buddy Guy
October 2 - Wilmington, DE - Wilmington Opera House - w/Buddy Guy
October 10 - Portland, OR - World Forestry Center - ACUF Benefit
October 24 - Milledgeville, GA - Deep Roots Festival.

If you are going to do a cover of a Jimi Hendrix anthem then learn from Ethan. Start with respect and then put your own stamp on it. This has been around for a while but the tour news makes a great excuse to feature.

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Wickerbird - Bugbear (From the forthcoming album  'The Leaf Maker') - Background words - The Cascadian region of the Pacific Northwest is a special place in America, a fact known well by Wickerbird AKA Blake Cowan. When writing the follow up to 2012's The Crow Mother and 2013's The Westering, Cowan secluded himself in a trailer on Washington's Mount Rainier and found inspiration in the forest and even recorded some of nature's own notes, recording them and featuring them on his new album, The Leaf Maker, out September 18th.

Wickerbird is Blake Cowan. Homesick and disillusioned by his impending transition to mature society, he concluded his sophomore year of college in New York City and returned to his native Washington State. There, in a borrowed trailer, buried among the foothills of Mt. Rainier, he found respite. It was in this time of stasis and lucidity that he resigned himself at last to open his consciousness, confront the haunting truths surrounding life and to draw his own answers from the unanswerable.

The sounds of Wickerbird are the manifested revelations and madness begotten in his mountainside reveries. More, they are the hymns of the mountain itself, sonnets from the wooded deep to the fill the silence, soaking into the cracks and crevices. His second full-length record, “The Leaf Maker” finds its lead character in the forest--the bird calls and pattering rain and snapping fire all as crucial and telling as the whispers and guitar that surround them.

Somehow Wickerbird manages to transport me into some far off woodland, where the peace is gently accompanied by this dreamy music. Something special going on here.

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Zombi - Pillars of the Dawn (from 'Shape Shift' coming October 16, 2015) - and we are told - The prolific instrumental duo of Steve Moore and A.E. Paterra, known as Zombi, have announced a long awaited new album Shape Shift, due via longtime label Relapse Records on October 16. The album marks a return to the group's prog-inclined rock roots after a detour into electronic textures on previous albums, a path that had been informed by pursuing the group as a long-distance studio project following their withdrawal from live performance in 2007. Energised by their return to the touring circuit in 2013 (supporting Italian horror soundtrack legends Goblin), the band resumed regular rehearsals to compose as a unit. The resulting album is their most cohesive and representative to date, nine songs brimming with head nodding beats and hypnotic keyboard runs. Moore commented on the new material: "It's a rock record - think of it as a follow-up to Surface To Air. There are no techno jams or symphonic prog fantasies. No solo track interludes. We have officially moved from 'studio project' mode back into 'live band' mode."

It would be neither difficult nor unfair to cite Zombi as a catalyst for the multitudes of soundtrack-oriented synth acts in their wake and the recent surge in reissues of original horror and sci-fi soundtracks. Formed in Pittsburgh in 2001, Paterra and Moore bonded over shared love of the soundtrack works of Fabio Frizzi, Goblin, and John Carpenter, choosing a moniker that evoked the work of the Iron City's premier horror auteur George Romero (Zombi was the title of the Italian release of Dawn of the Dead). Creating a signature sound out of bass guitar, drums, and analog synthesisers - and demonstrating how to play them all simultaneously in the live setting - their taut musicianship and sterling arrangements create an unmistakable atmosphere, unifying fans of metal, indie rock, horror soundtracks, new age, and dance music, with their prog-minded brethren across the aisle. Zombi have made an indelible mark on several marginalised forms of music, a mark which will deepen even further with the release of Shape Shift.

A long, long time ago in a Galaxy far, far away I used to indulge in privately listening to Prog Rock. Then punk came along and we all had to pretend that prog was history and this was just what we had been waiting for. But prog was made of sterner stuff and Zombi go full on, blazing along. Still all the same best keep my old listening habits between ourselves - thanks.


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Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Little Feat - Richards, Atlanta 1973 (Internet Archive)

We first featured this recording in December 2009. We have now replaced this with a vastly improved audio version from the Internet Archive which also includes the full set.

This is Little Feat in concert at Richards, Atlanta, Georgia, USA back on the 17th September 1973. The bands first two albums, 'Little Feat' and 'Sailin' Shoes', received nearly universal critical acclaim, and Lowell George's song 'Willin' became a standard, subsequently popularized by its inclusion on Linda Ronstadt's album Heart Like a Wheel.

Lack of commercial success led, however, to the band splitting up, with Roy Estrada leaving to join Captain Beefheart's Magic Band. In 1972 Little Feat reformed, with bassist Kenny Gradney replacing Roy Estrada. The band also added a second guitarist, Paul Barrere, who had known Lowell George since they attended Hollywood High School in California, and percussionist Sam Clayton. Both Barrere and Clayton added vocals on many songs, although all the band members provided backing vocals in various tunes.

This new lineup radically altered the band's sound, leaning toward New Orleans funk, musical influences and styles. The group went on to record 'Dixie Chicken' which was promoted on the tour that included this gig, and went on to be one of the band's most popular albums.

Source: Soundboard

Sound Quality: (From the Internet archive) - Just to set the record straight, this recording is in fact a live board mix. It was recorded onto a cassette master, using a Stevenson Interface sixteen channel console (where only fifteen channels were working).

The drop outs and missing parts are due to years of playing the master cassette on substandard tape decks, and getting chewed up in the process. The engineer is Mike Hatchett, who worked there until joining Little Feat on the road. He has two album credits. One is on "The Last Record Album", and the second is on "Hoy, Hoy".

Considering the lower quality recording devices used, it still is one of the best live/Lowell George recordings out there. The Mel Blanc and "China White" recordings came from Mike Hatchett's personal collection of recordings.

Genre: Rock, Country rock, Funk, Blues.

Set: Full set.

Track List:

01 Walking All Night
02 Two Trains
03 Got No Shadow
04 The Fan
05 On Your Way Down
06 Rock & Roll Doctor
07 Oh Atlanta
08 Skin It Back
09 Fat Man in the Bathtub
10 Sailin' Shoes
11 Cold Cold Cold (brief cut at 2:42 a whole second missing)
12 Dixie Chicken
13 Tripe Face Boogie
14 Bag of Reds
15 Tripe Face Boogie (Reprise)
16 China White<
17 Mel Blanc

Band Line Up: * Lowell George - vocals, guitar, harmonica * Bill Payne - vocals, keyboards * Paul Barrere - vocals, guitar * Kenny Gradney - bass * Richie Hayward - drums, backing vocals * Sam Clayton - congas, vocals, percussion

Official - band website HERE

Comments: From wikipedia a reasonable summary of the influence of Little Feat - Some of the prominent musicians and bands to play and record the music of Little Feat include The Black Crowes, The Byrds, The Bridge, Garth Brooks, Jackson Browne, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Taylor Hicks, Ron Holloway, Keisuke Kuwata, Nicolette Larson, Randy Newman, Robert Palmer, The Radiators, Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, John Sebastian, Carly Simon, Mick Taylor, Van Halen, Joe Walsh, Phish, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Sam Bush, Coco Montoya, Vince Herman, Inara George, Stephen Bruton and Jimmy Buffett.

Internet Archive Stream - Archive site with mp3, OGG V and flac options (here).


Monday, 27 July 2015

Genre Skipping Monday

Honey Ryder - Born In A Bottle (Album).

The Story So Far - Having firmly established themselves within the inner circle of Nashville's elite, UK band Honey Ryder return to spearhead the British country crossover invasion with their third studio album, 'Born In A Bottle'. To celebrate this they have announced a mini tour. 

Honey Ryder have already kicked off a busy festival season of touring with two performances at C2C at the O2 in March, followed by the Isle Of Wight Festival in June. Following this, they will be appearing at Weyfest and Fort San Antone Festival later it the year. The tour kicked off on the 30th July in London and the band will be on the road for the rest of year.

'Drink With Me' is the first single from the album. "We wanted to write a summery feel good song about hanging out with friends and partying, inspired by the bright lights of Downtown Nashville", explains lead singer Lindsay O'Mahony. "We had just come back to our hotel after a fantastic night at a bar called Pucketts, where we feasted on deep fried green beans and drank beer out of jam jars, and felt inspired to write, so we started jamming and within a few hours the song was pretty much finished. We then recorded it a few days later over at Ocean Way".

Honey Ryder sophomore album 'Marley's Chains' was a big hit on Radio 2 and achieved album of the weeks on the likes of Smooth Radio and Music Week. With hits such as 'Fly Away' and 'Marley Chains' the album received huge support all over the world, and 'Born In A Bottle' is sure to share the same success.

Sep 03 The Earl Grey Inn, Leek, United Kingdom
Sep 05 Weyfest, Farnham, United Kingdom
Oct 18 Fort San Antone Festival, Preston, United Kingdom
Oct 25 British Country Music Awards, London, United Kingdom

Honey Ryder clearly have some Nashville influences, however these add to their sound rather than dominate. There is a healthy amount of UK folk and folk rock, that gives them their own sound and styling. A very good album for anyone who likes this cross over country music.

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Eternal Death - Background - Eternal Death consists of Elin Berlin and Johan Angergård. Johan explains how it started - “Eternal Death was a solo project of mine for a month or two. When I had finished what I thought would be the first single it struck me that I didn’t want to play live, I didn’t want to appear in photos, I wasn’t that interested in doing interviews and I wasn’t very keen on singing. I didn’t want to be anything an artist is supposed to be or do anything an artist is supposed to do. I’m a big fan of Elin Berlin’s solo work and we had been in touch for a while. I asked her if she might want to be involved with Eternal Death, and we tried a couple of songs together. It worked out magically.”

Elin Berlin noted, “On my first trip to Stockholm, I really didn’t know what to expect. I had heard one noisy, instrumental song, and I knew that it was supposed to be called “Eternal Death”. But the concept; electronic pop music with lyrics that question our existence, faith and afterlife was very intriguing to me. When we started recording, I lost all that uncertainty. My tender voice in contrast to the harsh, almost industrial music creates a beautiful atmosphere. Anxiety is something I possess in abundance, and I tend to comfort myself with the somewhat cliché-ridden quote, ‘the darkest nights produce the brightest stars’.”

Their debut album, which is simply called, Eternal Death, was released on Labrador Records earlier this year. The reason for featuring them now is to mention their new video for 'Cry' which is featured on our BeeVids page. Also as this was released when Beehive Candy was enjoying it's 'extended siesta', it seems only fair to mention that the music is excellent and worthy of checking out. Another fine song ' Violence' featured below.

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Orange Vision - Dark Around the Eyes (Single).

Background words - 'Dark Around the Eyes' is the latest release from Orange Vision, a band firmly in the ascendant having already enjoyed support from Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1 and Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music as well as earning coveted support slots for Superfood and Honeyblood on the NME New Breed Tour.

The four-piece from Oxford, influenced by post punk, glam and shoegaze, produce reverb drenched, melodic pop anthems with a new wave edge.

Formed two years ago when Ed and Matthew bonded over a love of clothes, music and a generally delinquent approach to their depressing surroundings and sapped music scene, they were later joined by Daniel and Jake. The band became a primary focus and what started as a driving growling rock and roll sneer has blossomed into a post punk psychedelic new wave dream.

Edmund Quigley - Lead Vocals/Guitar 
Jacob Mott - Backing Vocals/Drums
Matthew Holford - Lead Guitar
Daniel Jones - Bass Guitar

So many genres mentioned above, it is fair to say they are all in part, applicable to Orange Vision however this band has enough of their own creative drive, for the mention of genres only to be a reference of sorts. There music put simply, is very likeable, the energy addictive.

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Sunday, 26 July 2015

Sundays Alternative Globe-Trotting Take

Branko - Let Me Go (feat. Nonku Phiri & Mr. Carmack)

Background - Some freshness from the Mr.Carmack camp- a team up with Branko (Buraka Som Sistema) called "Let Me Go." The track is the debut single of Branko's upcoming LP Atlas, and the perfect example of that tropical/tribal zouk bass vibe he's made famous. 

After spending the day with the talented South African singer Nonku Phiri and L.A.-based producer Mr. Carmack at the Red Bull Studios in Cape Town, South Africa, Branko set out to translate this encounter into a song by pushing the limits of the kizomba offshoot we call zouk bass, introducing some much-needed R&B flavour to this thriving genre.

 The story of this encounter is translated into an instrumental that reveals lush and dreamy synths dancing around a shuffling 90 BPM beat with an organic feel, built on Branko’s wide-ranging global influences and Mr. Carmack’s unique beat making skills, to which Nonku Phiri’s captivating Venda and English vocals add a level of depth and emotion that is further complemented by a bitter sweet string arrangement (recorded at Red Bull Studios in New York) - with positively epic results.

It's everything that's been described above, without exaggeration, the music and the vocals dance around each other with absolute style in abundance.


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Baskerville - Times (MTA - release due 28/8/2015).

Background - Dutch musician Baskerville has signed to London's much-loved label MTA. Baskerville is a one-man operation, helmed by Thijs van der Klugt. Kicking off with 'Times' it's dance music made with a distinct touch of class - high quality, layered productions that demonstrate the wealth of experience he has gained from being so deeply involved with music for such a long time. Splicing elements of the underground with melodies, indie, hip-hop, electro and whatever else he is inspired by when he hits the studio.

Baskerville had previously released on Boyz Noize's BNR Trax and Diplo's Mad Decent. While many of the scene's most respected players have already supported the music including Madeon, Boyz Noize, The Magician, Fake Blood, Tchami, Bart B More, Alex Metric, Erol Alkan, DJ Snake and Fono among others.

A lively piece from Baskerville, which twists and turns around some core vocals, both professionally developed and even more importantly, entertaining.

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High Tides - Psychic Love Damage.

Background - From the coastal shores of the mind, by way of the Midwest, comes High Tides, the hazy synth duo of Warren Kroll (Forrest, Dorosoto) and Steven Lutes (Mall Security, Kontyx). Launched in 2011 as an offshoot of their sleazy, acid-electro collaboration as The Red Falcon Projects, High Tides was born out of daydreams of the lavish shores of Southern California, sun-faded memories of yacht rock and a desire to craft their own signature spin on the genres perfected by the likes of Boards Of Canada, Freescha and others.

Amongst their earliest advocates was Tobacco of Black Moth Super Rainbow, who encouraged the duo to further develop their sound. He commissioned multiple, well received remixes from the pair, as they continued to write original material.

High Tides are set to release their forthcoming debut self-titled album via Tobacco's own label Rad Cult, due July 31. The album features six original songs alongside four re imagined versions of Tobacco/Black Moth Super Rainbow tracks.

Dreamy, drifting, sun-drenched and taking the listener to some far offshore island, cocktails in hand.

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Andrei Eremin - Anhedoniac (lyrics and vocals, Kucka aka Laura Jane Lowther).

Background - Mercurial producer Andrei Eremin has announced the release of his new track 'Anhedoniac' (feat. Kučka). 

Established as one of the most credible rising audio engineers in Melbourne, Andrei's commitment to his aural craft as resulted in credits behind the scenes with artists ranging from Chet Faker, Oscar Key Sung, Hiatus Kaiyote, Wafia and many more.

Earlier this year saw the release of 'Recycling 2013-2015', a collection of edits conducted by Andrei including material from Japanese Wallpaper, I'lls, Milwaukee Banks, a bootleg Juicy J rework, plus a collaboration with Fractures, 'Ghosts', remixed by Rat & Co.

'Anhedoniac' is lifted from Andrei's debut EP of original material Pale Blue, due for release this August.

Another splendidly dreamy piece with soothing vocals and a slowly arriving rhythm that allows even more musical diversity.

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Princess Century - Lossy (Paper Bag Records).

Background - Maya Postepski never stops. An active member of the Toronto music scene, she has been making music for over 10 years, currently as part of electronic group Austra (Paper Bag, Domino). She is a prolific remix artist, DJ and she co-wrote and produced TRST with Robert Alfons as Trust (Arts & Crafts).

This project is the outlet for her genre-crossing experiments that take us on a journey through minimalist cosmic disco psychedelia, crossing through glacial poly-rhythmic territories soaked in dark dripping goo.  

Shooting stars and icicles glimmering weave a reflective thread through each track while mechanical pulses ground soaring delicious keyboards that could melt the heart of a cobra. Do not be afraid! Close your eyes and allow the warm synthesizer liquid to seep through your veins and take you into a far away galaxy of love, lust and passion.

Genre defying electronic and audio hypnotic sounds. This is creative, imaginative and highly likeable, even old, old Kraftwerk fans like me can love this.

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JackLNDN - All I See

Background - British producer JackLNDN has made an appearance on Ultra Music, with the silky smooth sounds of ‘All I See.’ Out now, this talented electronic producer is set to dazzle fans with this wonderful single.

Beginning with funky vocals and a steady beat, the main vocal hook comes in, accompanied by euphoric use of piano chords for maximum feel-good vibes. In addition, JackLNDN’s contrasts between the singalong choruses and addictive riffs cleverly balance the tune from start to finish in style.

Light as air but with a strong undercurrent of groove, ‘All I See’ is a beautifully uplifting piece of house music that is guaranteed to flit around festival sets for the remainder of the summer.

Soulful and distinct, what's not to like about this high class track. Vocals that ooze style and a soundtrack that just flows and develops beautifully.

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Saturday, 25 July 2015

Three To Please You This Weekend

Moon Types - Know the Reason (Jigsaw).

What we are told - Here's yet another Jigsaw 7" from a new Swedish band, and like our previous one (by Animal Daydream - check 'em out!), this one features a set of easy-going and jangly pop songs in the vein of fellow Jigsawers, the Zebras and Ocean Party, as well as Ladybug Transistor (check out the trumpet in the title track!) and some more hipper bands like Real Estate. Though "Know The Reason" is the obvious hit, due to its instantly catchy melody and bouncy feel, the other two songs are no less dazzling in their own subtle ways, from the descending chord progression in the chorus of "Nothing's Holy" to the haunting feedbacky/ebow-ed guitar melody in "Do It All Over Again".

Jangle pop simple as that, easy on the ear and mind. A catchy song that pleases, more always welcome when they are performed this well.

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Bec Sandridge - In The Fog, In The Flame.

More background details - Possessing an incredible voice and prolific ear for melody, this 24 y/o Aussie native molds raw emotion with sleek production to create a sound that will nestle itself in the forefront of your consciousness. 2015 will see the songstress release a new EP as well as a run of Australian and UK tour dates. More details to be announced soon. She has also supported the likes of Passenger and Half Moon Run.

Another song that sinks its hooks into you and demands your attention. Melody, rhythm, and Bec's emotive vocals work wonders.


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Tin Lion - Whatever Works.

All you need to know - Originally from Perth, Western Australia, Jesse Fultone has had a lifelong love of music. Having played in numerous bands over the years (Flux Capacitor, Bobby Blackbird and the Bluejays, The Maples) and supported acts as varied as Sharon Jones, The Black Keys, Jamiroquai and Ugly Duckling, Jesse now produces and performs under the name Tin Lion. Influenced by acts such as Talking Heads, LCD Soundsystem, The Meters and Prince amongst, basically, anything with a good beat, Tin Lion’s music is a swirling mix of big drums, spacey synths, heavy bass and percussive guitar. Music as much for your head as for your feet.

On top of a new single and record, Jesse has just launched the new, all live four-piece Tin Lion live show. Drums, bass, guitar and full time percussion twist up and recreate the Tin Lion sound in a distinctly ‘dance punk’ way. Paradoxically loose and funky, whilst still being tight as a drum.

An infectious beat, rhythmic vocals, and synths combating for their place against some slick guitar work, not that the bass isn't stomping along. Go on, play it again..

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Friday, 24 July 2015

August & September Releases - A Taste Of Something Special

Connie Constance - debut EP "In The Grass" released 25th September 2015 on Black Acre.

Some background words provided - Connie danced from a young age, having left school at 16, she moved to Hoxton where she began working professionally as a dancer, further opening her mind and soul to music through movement.

In 2015 a friend introduced Connie to UK musician Blue Daisy, their friendship was instant and Blue swiftly became her producer and mentor. Together they set about carving a uniquely tripped-out sound. Wild dreams punctuated by stark reality.

Speaking of her collaboration with Kwesi Darko AKA Blue Daisy Connie says; “Imagine your uncle is god and he only let's the people who enter his heaven know who he really is. (His heaven being a dark and cave like studio filled with stories of the utmost enjoyment of solitude). That's what working with Blue is like.”

At just 20 years of age, Connie’s aura surpasses the time she’s been on this planet. She wanted to create music for her generation that breathes escapism from the cuts and bruises of young British life, penning lyrics on buses and trains. Her poetic words capture snapshots of modern living awash with shades of Erykah Badu. Growing up Connie listened to a lot of London born and bred artists like The Jam, The Libertines and Amy Winehouse, and you can hear echoes of their sound in her rich writing world.

The featured song 'Stars' is an incredible debut for Connie Constance. The vocals, music and production seemingly scream style and class. A touching song delivered with heart and natural soul, I just want to hear more.

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The Frightnrs - EP, "Inna Lovers Quarrel", coming via Diplo's Mad Decent on August 28th.

Background info provided - New York four-piece ensemble The Frightnrs have announced their latest EP, Inna Lovers Quarrel, coming via Diplo's Mad Decent on August 28th. The band takes inspiration from vintage Jamaican rocksteady combined with 80s rub-a-dub, plus a touch of ska and punk influence for a unique sound that redefines what reggae sounds like in 2015. 

They had recent success with their soaring cover of Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind" on New York's renowned Daptone Records, as well as airplay from reggae radio legend David "Ram Jam" Roddigan. The Frightnrs have made a real deal reggae record, polished by veteran NYC producer Victor "Ticklah" Axelrod. In Diplo's own words, "close your eyes and get transported to Kingston, Jamaica, 1981."

Catch The Frightnrs performing at Pioneer Works in Red Hook, Brooklyn on August 16th.

Any band that takes inspiration from Jamaican 'Rocksteady' tends to achieve two things with me, both get noticed and remind me just how old I am getting. With a song of this class I guess it's worth it, in fact no doubt about that, if you are going to do rocksteady, reggae, or ska, then check this band out as a benchmark on how to do the said genres.



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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Quality Not Quantity - And We Mean It

Ancient River - Keeper of the Dawn.

Ancient River, the sonic brainchild of singer/songwriter James Barreto, is an ever-evolving source of rock n’ roll and psychedelia, its influences flowing from the swampy roots of the American south to the far reaches of space.

The band's origins can be traced back the music scene in Gainesville, Florida and its thriving home grown DIY scene. Barreto began recording local bands, producing several albums as well as creating music for local independent films. His house soon grew into a fully-fledged home studio/rehearsal space, where like-minded musicians could be found tirelessly sharpening their wide range of sounds, encapsulating everything from noisy shoegaze and psychedelia to classic Americana.

Locked away in the pursuit of his sonic vision, it took two years for Barreto to take Ancient River to the stage, emerging with an unmistakable space-rock guitar sound and creating a captivating live show accompanied by entrancing psychedelic visuals.

Keeper Of The Dawn is the albums title track, an album that anyone from a sixties Doors fan through to a modern day psych rock music lover via early Floyd and so many other bands, will find absorbing. Individual in style and remarkably varied in pace and instrumental dominance this is one for any alternative playlist. Website (here).

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Monk Parker - How The Spark Loves The Tinder.

On August 28th, 2015, Monk Parker releases his debut solo record on the Bronze Rat label (London/Berlin). "How The Spark Loves The Tinder" was written during the breakup of Parker's band The Low Lows & his relocation from New York City back home to Texas. There, over the following three years, hundreds of hours of music were recorded with over 30 musicians (including members of Okkervil River and The Polyphonic Spree), largely in the welding shed of the family farm outside Austin.

Here Parker serves up a funereal but majestic alt­Americana, in which stately, dreamlike waltzes build to explosive, gospel ­tinged climaxes. Revolving around a slew of steel guitars, vintage organs and brass, the intricately orchestrated songs evoke Stax/Volt balladry and a woozy Phosphorescent-­style country narcosis. Alternating with a cacophony of buried noise melodies, this is the bed on which his damning, redemptive stories of carnality & affection lie (“Sadly yes I know just where to go, where to go / Sadly yes we can all three see the bright writing on the marquee”, goes the first line on the record, from a song about a love triangle gone inexplicably right).

Alt-Americana at it's best. I love it when an album arrives and has such a positive impact, stirring the emotions and pleading to be listened to again. Does not happen often, thank you Monk for making it happen here.


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Dusty Boots - Rebel On A Rainbow.

Sydney musician and adventurer Dusty Boots has released his latest single, the slow, atmospheric and folky Rebel On A Rainbow. The title track from his 5 track EP, the single is about slowing down in life to enjoy the important things such as nature, relationships, and adventure. 

Created with the help of his friends, Dusty Boots takes a natural and organic approach to his music, resulting with a collaboration of like-minded music lovers. In 2012, husband and wife team Jess and Jonny Dustow created lifestyle and adventure blog Rebel On A Rainbow. Sick of society's expectations of buying a home, having a full time job, and living a life focused on money, they decided to find a lifestyle that allowed them to focus on what they found important, and encompass their sense of adventure.

The title track is a soft gentle journey of a song, beautifully building and so, so atmospheric. Alt music meets alt lifestyle.

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Little Fox - Edits.

Little Fox (Simone Macarounas) forays back into the fray with new single 'Edits'; a follow up to her debut EP 'Warrior'. 

Instantly captivating with a glitchy, eerie intro, ‘Edits’ moves away from Little Fox’s more earthy fuzzy tones with a cleaner sound. Still revealing her subtle darker side, it’s a song that is a soundtrack to a very obvious breakdown, highlighting the destruction of other people’s opinions and commentary about a person’s life. This is just the first in a string of singles set for release this year and a follow up EP due late 2015.

If only Top 40 Radio in my part of the world was full of songs of this calibre, rather than the factory produced, 'target market aged 9-12 bilge', that seems to dominate. Looking forward to hearing more.

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Turk Tresize - Album - If It Is To Be

Turk Tresize - If It Is To Be - The album that nearly got away...

Well the bio has this to say - Turk Tresize is the embodiment of dusty backroads, Australian rock ‘n’ roll. Turk’s music drifts through the best decades of Rock ‘n’ Roll and takes his listeners on a story-telling trip through time.

Raised on his family’s farm in Cannons Creek, Victoria, Australia, Turk is a music man that has embraced the hand that life has dealt him. Turk has managed to perform music across the globe, operate a successful annual music festival and launch a record label that released his highly-touted debut album, Soul Casino. He has accomplished this while fighting a deep-rooted battle for the family’s land. Turk continues to tell his intriguing story in the form of song with his sophomore album, If It Is to Be.

‘If It Is to Be’ draws attention to Turk’s rock roots while sharing stories of hard-won lessons he learned while growing up. The album takes you on a musical journey. It is a classic rock album with sounds varying from a 60’s and 70’s Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd vibe with songs such as “Whole Lotta Crazy” and “Too Much”.  Songs such as “Lipso” combine Doo-wop stylings with alternative rock sounds. The song “Car Park” stands out on its own as a political anthem and “has a real tongue-in-cheek, jam it up your ass, feel to it, which I like,” says Turk.

The ultimate driving force behind ‘If It Is to Be’ lies in the track “Sweet Monica,” a tribute to Turk’s mother who lost her battle with Multiple Sclerosis with Turk by her side. The song gives listeners a glimpse into Turk’s heart with the lyrics “If it is to be, it’s up to me”, a motto Turk’s mother recited to him throughout his life. These words make up not only the inspiration for the album, but Turk’s entire life. “Life is what you make of it, and it is up to you to put the pieces together to live the life you are meant to live,” says Tresize.
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Somehow when I first received this album back in the middle of May, it slipped through the net. Some promoters bombard us with the same artist over and over and some just give us a gentle reminder, the latter tends to work for me. So when I was prompted today I was kicking myself that I had not picked up on this artist and album earlier. The pedigree of the production should have hit my radar - produced by Andrija Tokic (Alabama Shakes, Hurray For The Riff Raff, Benjamin Booker) mastered by John Baldwin (Sly Stone, Willy Nelson, Hurray For The Riff Raff).

'If It Is To Be' was released one month ago, and has a natural gritty roots feel, that takes Rock'n'roll and blues rock up a notch. Turk clearly loves his craft and immerses himself in both the lower key blues numbers and the heads down, full on rockers. His vocal range and passion really is the icing on the top. That this album deserves to be noticed way beyond the shores of Australia is the understatement of the year. If rock in any form is your passion, this is a must have - Website (here).

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Tuesday, 21 July 2015

2015 - Out Of Our Inbox - July - Three

YOKOTA - Minimal Background - At 21 years old, singer-songwriter-producer YOKOTA, has released her indie-pop single 'Blindside' fusing elements of elements of soul, jazz and hip hop to create her her poppy brass fueled single.

Currently recording in her home studio on Sydney's north side, YOKOTA's debut EP is set to thread these common elements and will be unleashed later in 2015.

So this really has to be a case of letting the music do the talking, which is fine. Actually it's a whole lot more than fine as I am sure you will find out, so give this totally enjoyable song a listen.

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The Bulls - Background - The Bulls, Anna Bulbrook of The Airborne Toxic Event (and sometimes Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes) and Marc Sallis of The Duke Spirit, are sharing the title track off their new record Small Problems, today in advance of the song's release Friday and the full EP on August 28th.

The two musicians had run into one another several times on the touring circuit over the past few years, and finally pulled the cord on a collaboration once the topics of the subversive albums of the 80s new wave scene, and the 90s shoegaze that followed it. After the release of their debut single "Come Unwound" and the apparent adoption of the new outfit by both artists' fan bases, the EP became a "must have" by fans and a "must do" by Bulbrook and Sallis.

The Bulls will be headlining the renowned Monday Night residency at Los Angeles' The Satellite in August. The five free Monday Night shows will support the release of Small Problems.

A little bit more dream pop than shoegaze, this is an enticing taster for the EP to come. 

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Drinks - Background Bio and being Thrilled - Birth Records & Heavenly Recordings are thrilled to announce the signing of Drinks, the new project from Cate Le Bon and Tim Presley, aka White Fence, whose album Hermits On Holiday will be released August 21. "Tim, do I like that dog?" A strange question, a queer query, an odd ask. The answer surely already known unless one mind knows the other. Which would appear to be the case with Cate and Tim. With Tim and Cate. 

Cate, born in West Wales, raised under the shadow of a woolen mill, dressed by the field and by the rain. Tim, from San Francisco, grew under and over the bridges and streets, combed by corners and by concrete. 

A more different musical upbringing you couldn't dream up. One a black thread strung through the eye of American hardcore, she a shard of glass tapped through a solid wall. Loop the thread around the shard and you have pendular device for predicting the sex. Will it be a boy or a girl?

They both like to drink, coffee mostly and sometimes each other. And once the drinks are drunk out it comes. The mud slicks and the plates click. Drinks is a solo project, not a collaboration. It has one mouth, one set of lungs, one mind and four legs. Drinks are the sound of hermits on holiday, having the time of each others lives.

I cannot easily describe this song. I like it otherwise I would not feature it, actually I like it tons, especially the way it develops and grows. Nope still can't describe it, please listen.

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Joni In The Moon - Background - Joni In The Moon’s mesmerising aural flights have been turning heads skywards, with multiple songs nominated for WAM Song Of The Year awards, triple j kudos rolling in and strong community radio airplay around Australia. Yet their upcoming single War & Porn is set to spin them into an interstellar orbit, stargazing siblings Joni and Josh Hogan’s otherworldly take on folktronica and world beats moving in a more heavy synth/electro pop direction, yet with a heavenly dose of experimentation to keep things uniquely ‘The Moon’s.

Whilst based in Perth, it’s easy to get lost in Joni In The Moon’s infinitely layered universe and wonder what planet they’re from. War & Porn’s evolution in sound is also matched by more politically and socially charged directions than previous work. As Joni explains, “War & Porn is my reaction to how awful it feels watching the news and feeling powerless to help. It's about first-world problem guilt, and the personal battle I go through comparing my own white privilege against global atrocities. It's the issue I have with a western media saturated with sex and violence, and how that infects the minds of our youths who then grow up to perpetrate such things.

A thought provoking song, sadly so much of western media seems to have become desensitised treating sex and violence as comodities to trade in. Serious subject, excellent musical piece, the lyrics speak volumes.

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Jess Penner - Brief Bio - Jess Penner is a cheerful and cheeky, creatively ADD artist from Los Angeles. Raised on a banana farm in Hawaii; Jess is also a dinner party throwing, hen raising, people loving, thrift store shopping, self professed tomboy who hates musicals and tilapia but secretly loves painfully slow BBC miniseries and booty dancing alone in her bedroom.  Since signing her first record deal at age 15 - Jess has spent the last 18 years making a career as a professional musician via touring, album sales, licensing deals, and working as a songwriter / producer.

Her new record, "Good Times" is officially out and about. Most of the songs on this project are super fun, and I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the process of making them.

Always like to hear some upbeat songs and Jess Penner delivers. This six track EP is a must for anyone who knows her music and a fine intro for the rest. The final song (I Walk This Road) also shows off her softer side, however lets finish with 'Good Times' (Beehive Candy's permission to dance granted).

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