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Showing posts from February 14, 2016

Genre Wander: Ben Mauro - Vorsen - Sofia Härdig

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Ben Mauro - She's Beautiful.

Background promo - Last year singer, guitarist and songwriter Ben Mauro was part of a major European tour with pop/funk icon Lionel Richie.  It was a two month tour of sold out arenas across Europe. Ben’s extraordinary musical skills and dynamic stage presence has been the reason that he has remained a core member of Lionel Richie’s band for over fifteen years.  Ben has also worked with many other artists including Kelly Clarkson, Britney Spears, Don Felder from The Eagles, John Fogerty, Christina Aguilera, Toni Braxton and also worked on projects produced by Peter Frampton and Prince.

But with Ben it’s not just about the music, it’s also about giving back.  On every trip to Syracuse he goes to his old high school (West Genesee HS) and college (Onondaga Community College where he studied classical guitar) to talk with students.  Ben gives them advice on how to have longevity in the music business and gives clinics to teach them the basics of music theor…

Quality Not Quantity: Linda Em - Overcoats

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Linda Em - Blue Girl (Single edit).

Background promo - With both BBC and Irish radio support for her debut album “Shadow Lands” , new single “Blue Girl” is available on download on 29th February. The single takes you back to the 1960s Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” girl group soul era, with Linda’s pure and raw vocal beautifully intertwining with the soulful backing singers.

Linda’s lyrical narrative has a nostalgic feel to it bringing back the early days of Woodstock, with some saying that she has an old soul for such a young woman. No surprise when she quotes Joan Baez, Carole King and the husky laments of Melanie Safka as her song writing influences. Performing at the credible 100 Club (London) and Ifracombe Folk festival her set up can be acoustic or with her full seven-piece band, which includes soul backing singers and a mandolin/ bodran player bringing the Celtic vibe to the music.

Linda’s clear, warm, sultry vocal draws the listener into her musical story telling throughout her al…

Thursdays Three: Matthew Logan Vasquez - Evol Walks - Von Spar

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Matthew Logan Vasquez - Personal.

Background promo - If you happen to like indie rock performed by real bands, and you catch yourself listening to a mixture of The Vaccines, Kasabian, Dead Weather and Arctic Monkeys more often than not, you should keep an ear out for Matthew Logan Vasquez, the front man of Delta Spirit and one-third of the super-group Middle Brother’s upcoming new LP Solicitor Returns.

Inspired by the sonic nonconformity of The Black Keys and The Raconteurs his tracks like Everything I Do Is Out, Personal or Muerte Tranquila showcase the lo-fi rock raver-cum-primal stomp-like energy from start to finish. Compromise- what’s that? Take it easy- what for? No no no, this track is certainly not about keeping anything in, but letting yourself go to the sound of the still much alive rock’n’roll.

The speaker-blowing vocal abilities of Vasquez, hinting slightly at the style of Dan Auerbach and Cold War Kids, are complimented well against his guitar-driven idiosyncratic flourishe…

Genre Wander: Shapes On Tape - Jake Berry - Lake Jons

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Shapes On Tape - My One and Only True Love.

Background promo - "My One and Only True Love' is actually about my one and only true love. It's about my girlfriend. It is a factual account of just a few of the things that make her a marvel of nature. She was a ballerina but should have been a drummer in a riot grrl band--or perhaps both. She did go to space camp two years in a row, as well as art school. There's no question that she is the smartest, funniest and best woman to ever be able to put up with me. Also, it explores a Faulknerian inspired notion that the very specific actually creates and ironic sense of the universal, but that is very much secondary."

Shapes on Tape was an arranged marriage. In 2012, Jason Matuskiewicz left behind a reasonably decent job as a young litigator in a relatively secure law firm to move to New York City and "make it" with his band. A solid career move to be sure. His famous last words were, "If I had known it was g…

Dreampop Double: The High Violets - Postiljonen

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The High Violets - Bells.

Background promo - The High Violets "Heroes and Halos" (Saint Marie Records) Release date: April 1st, 2016.

Heroes and Halos opens with two sharp hits on the snare, like two quick blows to the head, and then you’re inside and it’s happening all around you. ‘How I Love (Everything About You)’ stops you in your tracks. The High Violets make you put down that chocolate chip muffin and listen.

These dream pop vets sound like a delirious mix of Lush and Slowdive, and their fifth album finds them looking to the skies, a cathedral of colour, a stadium of sound. Listen to the way the chorus in ‘Long Last Night’ keeps climbing and climbing until your agoraphobia kicks in and you have to grab onto something to keep from falling out of your chair. Then there’s the sinister groove of ‘Longitude,’ the majestic bliss of ‘Ease On,’ one great song after another, all awash in hooks that swoon and dive.

The album ends with the sparse burned-out waltz of ‘Hearts In Our T…

The Bohos - Leaders Don't Love You.

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The Bohos - Leaders Don't Love You.

Background Promo - The distinct sound of The Boho’s new single represents the essence of the band, their trademark sound refined and re-packaged into one exciting, unique statement of intent.  A band with a message engrossed in the current movement of disbelief and disenchantment with today’s leaders.

Smashing out raucous passionate sets throughout a string of sell out shows and parties bursting at the seams amongst the like minded of Bath and Bristol.  The South West-based band have always proved difficult to pigeon-hole – moving quickly and swiftly between genres, gaining a significant cult following for their bold inability to settle into typecast while ploughing rich pop furrows

Fiercely independent and at the forefront of the collaboration of four hot UK bands teaming up to co-headline a 4 date tour across the UK this March, The Boho’s will headline their home town show in Bath, amongst shows in Sheffield, Brighton and London.  They will also…

Laura Jean Anderson - Righteous Girl (EP).

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Laura Jean Anderson - It Won't Be Long.

Background promo - As young as she may look, Laura Jean Anderson is filled with the spirit of wisdom, amassed through years of travelling, busking, hitchhiking, touring and old time religion--just the kind of learning a prolific songwriter would need.

You can hear it in her voice and lyrics on her latest EP, Righteous Girl in which she evokes the ghosts of Janis Joplin and modern influences of Lucius, St. Vincent and Alabama Shakes, “I feel like these songs reflect that feeling you get when you get one glimmer of hope, of sunshine in the midst of a deep depression. I would go on long walks barefoot with my guitar in the neighbourhoods of LA--I felt super out of place doing that but for some reason, it put things into perspective,” Anderson says wistful.

“Take Me In” opens up the EP and Anderson gently pulls the listener into her world, her soothing voice (reminiscent of June Carter) ebbs and flows along with the electric piano rolls. However, …