Tuesday, 16 August 2016

Genre Wander: Nick Waterhouse - Seth Lakeman - Lovecat

Nick Waterhouse - It's Time.

Background promo - On September 30th, California rhythm and blues revivalist Nick Waterhouse will return with his third full-length studio album, Never Twice. The first track off of the album was unveiled yesterday via Bandcamp. Never Twice will be released via Innovative Leisure digitally on CD and 180 gram vinyl. Today, Nick Waterhouse has also announced a fall U.S. Tour. Highlights include Music Hall of Williamsburg in Brooklyn on October 8th, The Bottom Lounge in Chicago on October 4th and The Rock and Roll Hotel in Washington DC on October 12th. More tour dates to be announced soon.

With Never Twice, Nick Waterhouse returned to his original collaborator, producer Michael McHugh (Black Lips, Ty Segall, Allah-Las). McHugh was a local legend in the oft-underrated Orange County music scene that Nick grew up in. McHugh was the first person to ever put Nick on tape and in an effort to re-capture the vibrancy of the Huntington Beach scene of Nick's youth, he invited McHugh up to his current home of San Francisco to work the boards once again. Once he had McHugh on board, Nick began cold-calling his favourite players, all of whom miraculously said yes. Jazz musician Bob Kenmotsu's contributed flute, Tom Waits and Elvis Costello collaborator Ralph Carney on sax, Dr. Lonnie Smith protege Will Blades on Organ and a virtual whose who of muso legends on horns, bass and guitar. The result is an exuberant and impeccably recorded album of songs, showcasing Waterhouse's prowess as a musician and a band-leader.


'It's Time' is a clever mixture of styles, a little jazz, plenty of blues and a pleasing soulful delivery. This is a splendid song, a teaser and a half, for the September album release, and just so cool.

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Seth Lakeman - Meet Me In The Twilight.

Background - Seth Lakeman’s eighth studio album is a stunning combination of his dynamic songwriting and playing, the genius of legendary producer Ethan Johns and the sublime harmony vocals of emerging young female trio Wildwood Kin. Between them they have conjured up an epic, soulful album of compelling songs that are stripped back to their very essence.

Ethan Johns has worked with the likes of Ryan Adams, Kings of Leon, Paul McCartney, Tom Jones, Ray LaMontagne, Laura Marling, The Staves and Crosby, Stills and Nash.  He agreed to produce the album after Seth sent him one roughly recorded song on his mobile phone, with Wildwood Kin adding their lush harmonies to his own gritty lead vocals.

Continuing Seth’s unique vision for recording in inspiring locations – previous albums have been recorded in a church and a copper mine - the 11 tracks for “Ballads of the Broken Few” were cut ‘live’ with an organic, acoustic vibe in the Great Hall of a Jacobean Manor House and they shine with the atmosphere of that setting. The spiritual-sounding songs have a trance-like quality: they encompass evocative contemporary messages, yet have an ethereal sound as if they have been hanging in the air for centuries. Ethan has let nothing impair the raw, visceral content - just enshrined the pure sounds of voices and ringing instruments. He comments "The kind of record I like captures human performance."

The mood is set from track one. Seth’s soaring vocals are perfectly complimented by the seamless harmonies of Wildwood Kin - two sisters (Emillie and Beth Key) and their cousin (Meghann Loney), also from Devon. When Seth met them at a local charity gig, he was immediately struck by their effortless ability to create intuitive harmonies. There is Seth's trademark stomp, his swooping, sighing and aching fiddle and viola, and strident electric tenor guitar. Multi-instrumentalist Ethan can't resist joining in on subtle underlying "dirty" electric guitar, mandolin and even hurdy-gurdy!


One of twelve songs on the forthcoming album, 'Meet Me In The Twilight' typifies the excellent music that Seth Lakeman consistently delivers. The words written in the third paragraph above, put things far more eloquently than I can, they are also an honest appraisal of what is a delightful album.

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Lovecat - Song For Eternity (feat. Jill Possible).

Background - Lovecat is the DIY synth-pop project from the Vienna-based producer David Haering, and “Song For Eternity” features the very talented Jill Possible on vocals.

The Great Catsby is an album full of driving rhythms, playful basslines, and above all, the voice of a hopeful romantic. It will be coming out exactly five years after the release of his debut EP, and follows various radio hits in Europe and a remix for Morrissey's legendary guitarist and co-writer Boz Boorer. 


The album also explores his past experiences in various rock and punk rock bands, and the gray days between one night of partying and the next. The forthcoming album The Great Catsby is out September 9th via Fabrique Records.

Just a week or so ago we featured the first single, and hot on it's heels comes another really fine share from Lovecat. It's another lively soundtrack oozing energy and rhythm and the vocal duet just rounds the whole song off in style.

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