Friday Five: The Goldhearts - Indigo - Radiation City - Martha Bean - James Clark Hangover

The Goldhearts - Here's The Thing.

Background - The Goldhearts have had a big year. Not only did they master playing in a band with an interstate guitarist. They released their first single “On The Run" which received weekly spins by iconic Los Angeles DJ KROQ Rodney on his show Rodney on the Roq. The single was also embraced by community radio and received regular spins on SYN, ZZZ, Radio Adelaide and others.

So here' the thing... The Goldhearts are about to release their second single called "Here's the Thing”. "It's short and sharp" says Margy, the singer/guitarist and "a change in mood from the country swagger of our first single ‘On the Run’. The track highlights the punchier grittier side of The Goldhearts but with the same hooks and melodies that they are becoming known for as well as saluting the bands of the nineties where they draw their inspiration.

The single is the second of their forthcoming debut album which will be released early next year. The Album was produced by Govinda Doyle (Angus and Julia Stone, Big Jet Plane). The single will be supported by shows at Studio 56 at Miami Marketta on November 26, and the Zoo in Brisbane on November 27. And Chicks with Picks 19 December at Sydney Town Hall.

The Goldhearts formed earlier this year, bringing to life a solo recording project created by indie music stalwart Margy Joughin who stepped away from her usual duties on bass and guitar to record an album of engaging tunes with Govinda. Margy says "people seem to like the song “Here’s the Thing” because for some reason people love saying ‘here's the thing...’ maybe its because it makes them feel like they are about to say something very profound and people are going to listen to them, even if it's, ‘I think it's time for a coffee.’”

Straight rocking and with a respectful nod to artists as diverse as PJ Harvey and Hole, The Goldhearts sound is full of hooks. 'Here's The Thing' has repeat play written all over it, another band ensuring rocks legacy is in safe hands.


Indigo - Moving On.

Background - Indigo are a four piece band out of the South West of Western Australia. The current line up consists of Christopher Kinna on lead vocals & guitar, Dylan Keirnan on guitar/backing vocals, David Williams on bass guitar/backing vocals and Joshua Beaumont on drums. 

Together, the four boys produce a sound that reflects the good summer vibes that we all know and love. This soft rock/indie/alternative outfit easily translates from CD to an electric live performance that will have you dancing all night, singing along to their catchy tunes.

The Indigo boys have just finished the recording of their next single “Moving On" and it’s due to be released November 2015 along with an official film clip. ‘Moving On’ is a feel good song written about getting over the hard times and finding balance. ‘Moving On’ is the new single off an upcoming EP that Indigo is currently working on, look for it to be released in early 2016.

'Moving On' is a pleasing indie rock song, and yes it does have a little bit of a 'summer lift' to it, even though it's definitely early winter where I am. This might be how Arcade Fire would sound if they were stripped back and more gritty.


Radiation City - Juicy.

And the story so far - In late 2013, with two well-received full-lengths and an EP under its belt, Radiation City got the itch. The band had built a strong following in its native Portland and connected with fans around the world, and from the outside, the path seemed clear enough: find a great producer to work with and further develop the smooth, space-age doo-wop sound that had put them on the map in the first place.

But on the inside, things weren't so simple. Cameron Spies and Lizzy Ellison, Radiation City's founding couple, were falling apart. Rad City, a tight-as-family band that always seemed to work so effortlessly off- and onstage, was on the verge of calling it quits. Then a funny thing happened: Spies and Ellison got together to record some new, urgent and semi-spontaneous songs and rediscovered that old magic. "None of it felt rushed, or belabored," Spies says. "It was honest and unafraid."

Of course, it was also the product of just 40 percent of the group. So, in the face of ambivalence and the band's impending implosion, Ellison and Spies decided to do something they'd never done before -- they transformed Radiation City from a democracy into a monarchy. They curated a new tracklist for the third full-length (half new songs and half old ones), enlisted Unknown Mortal Orchestra's Riley Geare to be their studio drummer, and found their great producer in John Vanderslice (Spoon, Death Cab For Cutie) of Tiny Telephone Studios.

The band's issues didn't end with these revelations-Spies and Ellison broke up temporarily and called off their wedding, one band member was let go, and only half of the group went to San Francisco to record the tracks for the new album-but the die was cast. Radiation City was not going to polish up its old style for Synesthetica; it was going to completely overhaul both its process and its sound. After recording with Vanderslice, the band took its new directive back to Portland and turned to Jeremy Sherrer (Modest Mouse, Gossip) at Ice Cream Party to flesh out its studio sessions.

Based on the condition known as synesthesia, whereby a person links one sensual experience with another (for Ellison, who experiences it, that means seeing specific colours when she hears different musical sounds), Synesthetica is a place where multi-sensory experience is commonplace; where feelings and definitions blend and melt, and surreality becomes reality. The word synesthetica is the summation of a pivotal third album that, from the outside, probably seems as effortless as every other Radiation City release. Synesthetica almost killed this band, but instead, it serves as the opening salvo of a monumental second act, and Radiation City is invincible.

The album is due out February 12th 2016, and as the (edited) story above shows it's been some journey arriving at this point. Thankfully 'Juicy' suggests we are in for a treat regarding the forthcoming album. A great song that twists and turns, bring on the album.


Martha Bean - A Better Man.

Background words - About ‘A Better Man’ - With Martha’s pacific acoustic picking and radiant gliding vocal to the fore, ‘A Better Man’ is an enchanting composition of mellow orchestral folk. Completed by warm components of electric piano, bass, a string section and a rolling yet respectful tom-tom pulse, it conveys both the classic English harmony of retro-roots torchbearers The Unthanks and the ambient indie stylings of This Is The Kit. “What does it take to be a better man?” wonders Martha in a breathy, beautiful hook, reflecting on the contradictory, confusing nature of the information overload surrounding self-improvement, before reaching a sage conclusion in the final chorus:  “A little dignity, and a willing hand/Now that’s the start/Of a better man”.

About Martha Bean - On her acclaimed debut album, ‘When Shadows Return To The Sea’, released earlier this year, Martha Bean not only wrote and bathed all of the tracks in her haunting, ethereal falsetto, she also played guitar, piano, double bass, banjo and clarinet, as well as orchestrating the string arrangements throughout. It’s perhaps not surprising, then, that this Leicester-based polymath – whose aforementioned LP drew her comparisons to the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Fiona Apple and Norah Jones – began her musical education early, at the age of three, when her parents got her started on piano. This immersion into sound led Martha to pick up the guitar as a teenager and then study music composition at Dartington College of Arts in Devon. From this creative resume came a broad church of inspirations, from alt-folk maestroes such as Nick Drake and Fionn Regan to fellow boundary-breakers Radiohead and Claude Debussy. Martha’s sonic template has been further expanded by support slots and festival appearances alongside the likes of Marika Hackman, Seth Lakeman, Bombay Bicycle Club and Bon Iver, while she’s even been heard on primetime TV: her songs have featured on trailers for EastEnders and Midsomer Murders, as well as in several advertising campaigns. It’s indicative of the crossover appeal of Martha Bean, for what’s not to like about intense, sincere songcraft, authoritatively composed and passionately performed? 

See Martha live in November:

Saturday 14: In The Woods, Lage Vuursche, Netherlands
Sunday 15: Het Oude Theater, Oss, Netherlands
Thursday 19: Jam Café, Nottingham
Tuesday 24: The Finsbury, London N4

Wednesday 25: The Musician, Leicester

This is a beautiful song. Vocals are stunning and the music is in perfect harmony. What else can I say, I love it.


James Clark Hangover - Maria.

A message from James - I've been playing professionally for 35 years.. I started in the bars of the 1980's playing punk rock. Over the last five years I've reevaluated my music, I've relearned guitar and learned piano. And started to concentrate on keeping it simple and delivering the message in the most concise and universal way. 

For instance, for my new song Maria the intro is 5 seconds long, and then quick to the chorus.. Bubblegum! The Ramones are a huge inspiration. It's not easy to "dumb it down" but here's my attempt at it...with Jordon Zadorozny (Blinker The Star/Lindsay Buckingham/Courtney Love/Sam Roberts) singing back-up vocals and producing. The video was filmed in three locations: An old Barber Shop, a garage that looks like it had been hit by a bomb and finally a classic bar. I think it worked out to look like an ad for H&M directed by Herb Ritts. It's a Black & White arty affair. Some pretend singin' and playin' and a vague concept but I think it came together nicely.

The video will be added to our BeeVids page, and the album 'Volume 3' is out November 20th. 'Maria' is a timeless rock piece, no bells or whistles, just straight gutsy 'how it is' music, with well suited and passionate vocals.