Friday, 22 May 2015

2015 - Out Of Our Inbox - Edition Five

What a way to start this round up of some fine music that has come our way in the last few days. Have you ever listened to a song and half way through your already wanting to listen to it again? Tamara Williamson had that very effect on me this week. I was also puzzled by the fact I had never heard any of her material before, simply because it is just so good! Much as some in the music industry berated the emergence of file sharing and downloading, the reality is artist's like Tamara can be discovered anywhere around the world with just a little exposure. Well Beehive Candy are happy to assist when music this good comes our way.

Tamara had this to say regarding her latest album, 'Sister, Mother, Daughter, Wife' - The importance of this album is paramount for me as it helped me work through some of the tougher ideas I've faced and helped me start living outside of the bubble I had created for myself.

Every song on the album explores a different women's story that I felt needed to be heard. The album was first conceptualised when I discovered the story of Victoria while listening to CBC Radio. 
I'm thankful for the help of Mitchell Girio for producing and Richard G. Benoit for Mastering this collection of songs. Also, Morgan Doctor, Mitchell Girio, Kevin Hearn and Garen Graves for playing on the album. Hope these stories connect with you as they did with me.

Two songs featured from a remarkable album.

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Far In The Maples are gearing up for the release on July 14, 2015, of the album Skywork. This was produced by Steve Greenwell (Joss Stone) at Lakehouse Studios in Asbury Park, to 'showcase song-oriented music that’s both honest and contemporary with a classic timelessness, from an infectious new band driven by songbird Regina Conroy and multi-instrumentalist Reshy P'.

We are reliably informed of the following - Turning the celebrated, swingin’ sound of the Jersey Shore inside out, Far In The Maples is poised to cast a new seaside musical legacy built upon the nuances of internal emotion with unexpected soundscapes, unforgettable melodies and the sweetly understated vocals of its alluring lead songstress through its debut album, Skywork (Refrost Records/AWAL).

They could have just said this is a really bright, uplifting, collection of songs, but I guess you have to get noticed anyway you can these days, quoting some more - Regina’s love for great American singer-songwriters like Natalie Merchant, Shawn Colvin, Avril Lavigne, and Michelle Branch, with Reshy’s wide-ranging leanings from punk to electronica, inspired by Billy Talent, Millencolin, Sum 41, Owl City, Paramore, and beyond. It's a very strong debut, so if you love the 'celebrated swingin' sound of Jersey Shore', you will love this! Website HERE.

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Now if your a regular visitor to this place you will know that I'm often tempted by the suggestion of well mixed up genres. So tell me that Old House Playground 'is a three piece contemporary blues/alt-rock band with roots in the song writing culture of traditional Greek folk music' and I will be intrigued, particularly as I know nothing much about traditional Greek folk music.

So the story goes - In 2009, Tryfon Lazos (vocals, guitars) and Andreas Venetantes (drums, percussion) together with bass player Conor Loughran moved from Athens to Manchester to experiment with new musical paths and forms of expression.

Inspired by the likes of Tom Waits, Django Reinhardt, Nick Cave and Greek artists Psarantonis, and Marcos Vamvakaris together with analog sounds and street musicianship, Old House Playground met producer/musician Chris Evans, with whom they would record their first album God Damn That Gold. A couple of months before the recordings took place, Conor left the band, with Tryfon and Andreas continuing as a duo. The album was released in June 2012 by the independent label Evening Economies/Fat Bob Records and accompanied by an extended UK tour. From working men’s clubs and mainstream pubs to the Dalston hipster playground, the response was overwhelming.

I would struggle to put it better than the following so lets just repeat it - “They've got the deep, gravelly lo-fi blues with a bit of old-time swing and rockabilly on the side - imagine a pared down Bedlam Six fronted by a young hybrid of Jack White and Nick Cave. His lyrics are dark, twisted stories with a certain literary flair” - Cath Aubergine, Manchester Music.

Website HERE. Great song below and more on their web place.

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Next up Survival Guide. Taking the short cut to what Survival Guide are all about here's someone elses words - Survival Guide is the compelling artistic endeavor featuring California vocalist and keyboardist Emily Whitehurst. Her music falls somewhere between indie rock and electronic, always with descriptive, storytelling lyrics, strong vocals and a sprinkle of pop. After supporting Joan Jett, performing at First City Festival 2014 (Beck, The National, Phantogram) and recording a freshman full-length album, Survival Guide was named one of the Top 12 Bay Area Bands of 2014 by San Francisco's premier rock radio station, Live 105. 

The upcoming album (now actually released), entitled "Way to Go", conjures feelings of a dark modern fairytale and showcases Whitehurst's vocal range and talent, following two previously released 7" vinyl singles, "Hot Lather Machine" and "Wildcat", released on San Francisco's Side With Us Records.

A really fine album that matches the expectation aroused by the comments above You can find out more HERE on their website.
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Slightly Stoopid recently began streaming “One Bright Day” from their upcoming album, Meanwhile… Back at the Lab (to be released June 30th through the band’s label, Stoopid Records). This perfect summer jam features band friend and Grammy Award winner Angela Hunte (best known for co-writing “Empire State of Mind,” with Alicia Keys and Jay Z). Slightly Stoopid is McDonald, Miles Doughty (guitar, bass, vocals), Ryan “Rymo” Moran (drums), Oguer “OG” Ocon (percussion), Daniel “Dela” Delacruz (saxophone), Paul Wolstencroft (keyboards), Andy Geib (trumpet, trombone) with special guest and “unofficial 8th member” Karl Denson (The Rolling Stones/Greyboy Allstars) on saxophone.

They asked us if we like to share the song, we listened, we liked, we very nearly danced until my frightening sense of rhythm pinned me back in the chair. Upbeat and so shared as requested.


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I am going to shamelessly copy and paste the words of another writer (again) to get across the background to the exceptional Ella Squirrell.

'Ella Squirrell grew up surrounded by creativity in the beautiful town of Bridport in Dorset. She has always felt at one with the natural world, returning to nature as a comfort in her song-writing. She has recently spent six months living and working in London, after discovering it to be a great base for music, and has returned to Dorset with a wealth of experience.

Ella picked up her first instrument aged 10. She copied folk songs on an Irish penny whistle, before moving on to the guitar when she was 11. Her dad is a professional musician, playing mandolin in a trio folk band, and he fully encouraged Ella’s musical growth. He taught Ella the basics before she started teaching herself by taking inspiration from other songs.

Ella recalls writing her first successful song aged 15. She started with just 3 lines and the stepped away from it for a while. When she came back to it, the words began to flow, with a little help from her poet mom. She taught Ella to be brave with words, combining senses and placing the listener in the atmosphere and experience of the writer. This gave Ella the confidence to write her own songs.

Song-writing is a cathartic process for Ella. She sees it as the best outlet for strong emotions, whether she is feeling down or feeling really happy. Allowing herself to be honest in her song-writing is the key to her creativity.

Ella has followed in her dad’s folk footsteps, but with a modern pop twist. She is always learning from other musicians, and believes collective song-writing and collaboration is key for musical growth. She meets musicians at open mic nights and is constantly inspired by their work and attitude.

It is no surprise Ella loves collaboration as she grew up partaking in spontaneous jam sessions with family and friends in the creative bubble of Bridport. She gained most of her skills in this way, having never studied music. She doesn’t read or write music; her melodies exist in her head, inspired by what she hears around her, and she teases them out into reality'.

OK edited highlights and I know the town of Bridport in Dorset very well and would concur it does seem to have something in the water that gets the best out of people musically. Also well done whoever wrote the press release for not mentioning a certain Polly Jean Harvey who also of course hails from Bridport, that must have been quite tempting, so there I have. I would add as an aside West Dorset is a beautiful part of England however as this is not a travel guide what about the music? Excellent, absorbing, just listen and enjoy it. Website HERE.

A couple of live dates:

27th May2015
The Jam House, Birmingham
The Launch Pad - a regular showcase of some of artists that the Jam House considers "ones to watch".

4th July 2015
Big Mix Music Festival, Lyme Regis
The Big Mix is Lyme’s own youth music festival by the sea,

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