Weekend Wonders: Stiffy Jones - Ofelia K - Heidi Talbot - Gitta De Ridder - Quiet Quiet Band - Dyr Faser

Stiffy Jones - Echoes.

Background promo - Stiffy Jones is back with a brand new album. After the release of their latest EP, the Disconnect Me EP, Stiffy jones has kept on their legacy of loud, sweaty and energetic stage shows to venues all around Sweden. Narrow Road Of Memories is a record full of powerful, melodic and personal punk rock songs that will leave you wanting more. The record is set for release on October 28 CD and digital download.

Since 2009, Stiffy Jones current line-up has invaded the bars and venues of Sweden with their punk rock and constant need to be on the road. Formed in 2005 by four schoolmates in Stockholm without any wider musical knowledge but with the same passion for punk rock and a need to cure boredom. In 2012 their debut album was released and they've since toured Sweden. Stiffy Jones has over the years played with among others; Koffin Kats, Skumdum, Tysta Mari, Strawberry Blondes, Saturdays Heroes and The Friday Prophets.

'Echoes' was on the 'Disconnect Me' EP and not surprisingly has been included on the forthcoming full length album 'Narrow Road of Memories'. It typifies the bands creative mixture of punk rock, with some flavours of celtic and folk twists, never far away. Pretty much energised the whole way through, the new album is a quick cure for apathy.


Ofelia K - Another World.

Background - Ofelia K.’s voice and compelling songs are worn down to perfection and balance wistful maturity with a certain earnest and eternally young expression.  Not quite pop, not quite anything else, the young singer-songwriter showcases her beautiful symmetry with her music somewhere between an unrepressed journal entry, a comforting arm around the shoulder and her smoky, shimmering glare, her eyes so knowingly staring into you. With spins from Annie Mac at BBC Radio 1, over 2 million Spotify plays, and features on multiple television shows, the world heard her starry eyed songs and asked for oh-so-many more. 

With her upcoming EP release, 'Choas Cave' right around the corner this LA songstress once again sets her sights on capturing the public’s heart with her latest single, "Another World." As Ofelia herself mentions, “Another World seesaws between darkness and light, beauty and pain. My vision for this song was for it to take you through different worlds, as though the listener is traveling and taking in new terrain throughout. I love the visuals that the instrumentation paints, like the sounds are playing with one another and need to be hushed and contained at points. And with Ofelia K, you know that can only result in pure musical bliss.

Regarding the EP, Ofelia adds, "Chaos Cave was recorded at a couple studios in Burbank as well as at my house in Box Canyon. Massive amounts of La Croix sparkling water were consumed. My producer Andy Rosen and I both have some OCD tendencies that get compounded when working together, so there’s a lot of attention to detail throughout. We worked in Ableton, which really influenced the soundscapes we were able to achieve and allowed for quite a bit of creative freedom. My attitude is always that of letting each song go where it wants to and not feeling strictly limited to one genre, so each of the five songs brings a different mood and style to the body of work."

It's the third feature this year on Beehive Candy for Ofelia K, this time with the new song 'Another World'. With such finely crafted music and Ofelia's fetching vocals, can you blame me for taking advantage of the opportunity, to share another gem.


Heidi Talbot - The Year That I Was Born.

Background - Heidi Talbot's fifth solo LP plays to the tune of quiet skips and giant leaps. It crosses the ages, jumps into the unknown, traverses oceans and musical styles – from folk, through Americana, to classic pop, and back again. The Co Kildare singer / songwriter, who now resides in Scotland with her musical partner and husband John McCusker, is joined by a host of musicians and co-writers on the album, including Louis Abbott (Admiral Fallow), Duke Special, Adam Holmes and Boo Hewerdine.

This sense of family and home is reinforced by the album having been recorded in Talbot and McCusker's self-built studio, housed in a converted eighteenth-century bothy next to where they live in the Scottish Borders. “Recording the album in our own studio was amazing,” Talbot says. “You're in your own environment, you're comfortable, you've got all the time you need, and the kids can come over. It feels like everyone can be a part of it.”

Everyone, on this occasion, means Talbot (voice, ukulele) and producer McCusker (violin, cittern, whistles, harmonium) – plus Innes White (guitar, mandolin), James Lindsay (double bass), James Mckintosh (drums, percussion), Megan Henderson (piano, harmonium), Toby Shippey (trumpet), Andy Seward (banjo), Donald Shaw (harmonium, Wurlitzer, accordion), Michael McGoldrick (Uilleann pipes, whistles), Toby Shaer (whistle), Adam Holmes (vocals), Louis Abbott (vocals, electric guitar), Su-a Lee (Cello) and Sorren Maclean (backing vocals, electric guitar). A barnful, and then some.

The title track is inspired by an old gospel song. “I loved the idea of it being quite uplifting, of it not being a funeral hymn, even though it's about death,” Talbot offers. The same could be said of a bright and beautiful album that touches on grief, depression and love. “It's as sad as you want it to be,” she says, smiling. It's equally heartening, cheering and enlightening. Hope springs eternal.

Heidi Talbot Tour Dates 2016:

Sept 29 Paisley, Paisley Arts Centre
Sept 30th Edinburgh, Queens Hall
Oct 2nd Derby, Folk Festival
Oct 6th Liverpool, Music Room
Oct 7th Barnard Castle, The Witham
Oct 8th Bromsgrove, Artrix
Oct 9th Stroud, The Convent
Oct 11th Cambridge, The Junction
Oct 12th Bristol, St George’s
Oct 13th London, Cecil Sharp House
Oct 14th Newbury, Arlington Arts Centre
Oct 15th Colchester, Arts Centre
Nov 5th Barnsley, The Civic
Nov 6th Bury, The Met
Nov 10th Peebles, Eastgate Arts Centre
Nov 11th Stirling, The Tolbooth

Featured track 'The Year That I Was Born' is a delicate folk song, with Heidi Talbot's vocals soothing, gentle and refined. As I listened without actually watching the video, it felt more intimate and quite atmospheric. The fact that the song is just one dimension of the material she produces, suggests the latest album is a must listen, at the very least.


Gitta De Ridder - Even If.

Background - Originally growing up in the Netherlands, Gitta taught herself to write and play songs on the guitar from a young age, and cites modern folk artists such as Anais Mitchell as her inspiration. Gitta's folkpop songs, with beautifully poetic but also conversational lyrics, go straight to the heart and are performed on a bed of warm fingerpicked guitar.

Feathers is an album which follows a true creative vision, focused on the words that make stories come to life, it explores relationships, romance, family and cities, and all that makes us human. Recorded mostly in Gitta's London home-studio with one-take vocals and guitar recordings layered with children's toy instruments, cello's and other sounds; Feathers was created intuitively, realising the treasures are in that what comes naturally.

Her debut single 'Mr Yesterday' released in September 2014 gathered attention from BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and several Dutch radio stations; following up with her self produced EP 'Come Find Me' in January 2015 to shining reviews. The new album Feathers is due for release on September 21st. New single ‘Even If’, a song about friendship – or loneliness, shows Gitta’s lyrical ability in an effortlessly catchy chorus with beautiful vocal harmonies; previous single ‘Alternate Reality’ builds to a crescendo of instruments while first track released 'Lie With Me' closes the album with a gentle lullaby layered over delicate guitar. 

The new single 'Even If' is one of ten really good songs on the album 'Feathers'. In genre terms, the album is highly accessible folkpop, with Gitta exploring different ideas from that starting place. Melodic through out, each song has an individual feel to it, with Gitta's vocals just right for the piece. This is one very fine album.


Quiet Quiet Band - In The Body.

Background - Something has stirred in the darker, lesser-trodden extremities of the UK folk scene. Following 2015’s raucously received (and performed) album ‘Low Noon’, that most carnivalesque quintet, Quiet Quiet Band, have re-emerged into the cold glare. The band’s new EP, ‘Come Home From The War’, released later this year, is a four-song rumination on the aftermath of conflict and, more pertinently, the ways in which humans seek to escape from it. As QQB guitarist Paul Smith puts it: “With society defined by global and personal battles, so many of our pleasures have become tactics for retreat. Pleasures of the flesh, pleasures in a bottle and pleasures of losing your mind inspired this record."

Singing songs of love, death and Tony Robinson, Quiet Quiet Band are the rotting fruits in nu-folk’s verdant pastures. Extrovert practitioners of hillbilly hoedowns, sociopathic shanties and warped waltzes, QQB’s sometimes macabre, sometimes poignant ditties are further animated by a vociferous lyrical delivery, as they channel themes of love, desire, violence and death into wild, witty and wonderfully melodic tunes. “Our songs often evoke fictional characters who are reflecting on their own flaws, regrets, losses and mistakes,” says lead vocalist Tom Purcell. Also comprising Paul Smith (guitar/vocals), Scott Painter (bass), Jon Hare-Winton (drums) and Devon Gillespie (viola), QQB are renowned for their blistering live sets, the ferocity of which was first captured on 2015’s long-player ‘Low Noon’ to all-round praise. Now, a new EP, recorded by Sam Wheat at RekRoom Studios, seems to represent a subtle shift with a more composed, controlled collection. But you don’t need to scratch the surface too hard to know that Quiet Quiet Band still have that wicked glint in their eyes and a shindig in their souls.

Live Dates:
Friday 23 September: The Finsbury, London N4
Saturday 1 October: The Bell on the Green, Devizes
Friday 4 November: The Finsbury, London N4 (official EP launch)
Friday 25 November: Rising Sun Arts Centre, Reading

The first of four songs on the EP 'In The Body' immediately grabbed my attention, and the band held it, all the way through this wonderful EP. Infectious and stirring vocals are accompanied by varying amounts of musical power, sometimes understated, sometimes almost demanding I sit down and listen, to take it all in. Genre wise, it might be folk, rock'n'roll or anywhere in between, for me, it's superb and that's more than enough.


Dyr Faser - Den Of Sables.

Background - Boston-based trio Dyr Faser have announced they will release their new EP 'Trio' and are teasing this new release with forerunner single 'Estranged'. On 'Trio', the band cleverly blends post-punk, electronic, and psychedelia, often with southern guitar elements. Based in Boston, Dyr Faster is comprised of Eric Boomhower (vocals, guitar, synth, Casio), Thalia Zedek (guitar, slide, backing vocals) and Katherine 'Kate' Murray (synth).

Altough multi-instrumentalist Eric Boomhower originally began Dyr Faser as a solo project, he was eventually joined by indie rock icon Thalia Zedek (Come, Uzi, Live Skull, Thalia Zedek Band). After many recordings, buzz-worthy shows and a successful tour, they were joined by Kate Murray on synth and again head out for additional touring in both the USA and Canada.

Together they make music that is entrancing, hypnotic, dreamy, kraut-rockish, and meditative. On 'Trio' EP, they fuse the European synth avant garde and krautrock leanings of Eric Boomhower and Katherine Murray with the American guitar stylings of Thalia Zedek. "The track 'Den of Sables' is how I imagine it'd be when Soft Cell meets The Gun Club," says Thalia Zedek, whose lengthy career includes founding Come with Codeine's Chris Brokaw and releasing four albums for that project. She has toured with world with Come and Live Skull.

For the first time in the band's history, Eric and Thalia sing together, sharing vocals prominently on 'Hybrid Souls'. Drum loops, synth swirl, dueling guitars, melodic vocals and electronic drum loops make for a hypnotic and inimitable release. "We made this record after years of Thalia and I supporting each other's music. As one time housemates, we talked about music a lot. And unbelievably, I found Kate who shared a love for Krautrock and space rock. With this EP I hope to bring these sounds and talent to the pop world," says Eric Boomhower.

'Den Of Sables' is the first of six tracks on the 'Trio' EP. The band seemingly swim through genres, grabbing whatever parts are right, and with the end result of constructing some intriguing and hypnotic music. It would be easy to describe the bands music as experimental at least in part, with reflection though, I would suggest they have already done the experiments, and are at the stage of crafting distinctive and for me, totally absorbing music.