Morganway - Artificial Pleasure - Low Island - Hannah Aldridge

Morganway - Hurricane.

Background - Originating from North Norfolk’s rural outback, Morganway’s fiery, Americana-influenced style is packed full of powerful riffs, charismatic five-part harmonies and compelling, honest song writing. The band was established by twins Callum (acoustic guitar, lead vocals) and Kieran Morgan (lead guitar), and features Yve Mary B (lead vocals), Matt Brocklehurst (keyboard) and Simon Tinmouth (drums).

The Norfolk five-piece pride themselves on the high standard of their engaging live performances, and they have caught the eye of a range of festivals. Subsequently, they recently headlined The Open's prestigious OH1 festival, in their hometown of Norwich, on the Banking Hall stage. Other early 2017 shows include London gigs at The Troubadour, The Islington and The Bedford, as well as a special headline performance at Cambridge’s muchloved Portland Arms.

Morganway released their second EP ‘The Hurricane EP’ a few days ago, following the glowing reception of their debut EP ‘No Tomorrows’ last year. Website here, Facebook here.

We featured Morganway last month and the new video for 'Hurricane' provides us with an opportunity to share the title track from their latest EP. The Americana influences give the band a natural, honest sound and their fine compositions and all round delivery is a delight.


Artificial Pleasure - Like Never Before.

Background - After just a handful of tracks, Artificial Pleasure have earned plaudits for their dancefloor-friendly, art school-styled electro-pop with many critics placing them as descendents of influential and timeless greats such as Talking Heads and David Bowie.

The latest stage in the quartet’s introductory mission comes with the release of their brand new track ‘Like Never Before’ which also acts as the title track to the band’s debut EP of the same name. While ‘Like Never Before’ echoes the sparkling riffs and vociferous funk grooves of their recent tracks, it’s also a track that’s darker-hued in nature. An almost industrial introduction imbibed with doomy synths sets a cinematic tone before Phil McDonnell’s crooning baritone and an insistent clatter of cowbells switches the tone from apocalyptic to animated.

In addition to ‘Like Never Before’, the EP is completed by the opener ‘All I Got’ - the first of Artificial Pleasure’s tracks to reach a wider audience - as well as the recently issued follow-up ‘The Hand On My Shoulder’.

The band maintain a firm DIY ethic. Almost all of their material is self-produced and self-mixed, with McDonnell and Brennan leading the way with the arrangements before Brennan’s self-taught engineering skills heighten the strength of the finished track. All of the songs are written with live performance in mind – the result being an exertion of raw energy: no tricks or gimmicks, just pure adrenaline. Website here, Facebook here.

We featured the fabulous video for 'All I Got' last month describing the track as "High Octane rock'n'roll that is delivered in an effortlessly cool manner, and head turning vocals". The latest song to be released by the band is 'Like Never Before' which is an electro pop beauty. Powerful synths and a robust beat provide the backdrop for the defining vocals, another magnificent song!


Low Island - Rest Your Head.

Background - Hot on the heels of landing over a million streams at Spotify, Low Island add to their burgeoning discography by sharing the brand new track ‘Rest Your Head’.

After ‘Holding It Down’ blended menacing vocals, dancefloor intensity and a cacophonous wall of sound, ‘Rest Your Head’ drops down the gears to present a very different angle to this intriguingly multi-faceted band. Its groove is a dreamlike trance in which mellifluous vocal harmonies head a soothing production rooted in hypnotising synths and downtempo beats.

Low Island was formed as an accidental by-product of a theatre score composed by Jamie (vocals/guitars/keys/electronics) and Carlos (vocals/guitar/keys). The pair, who also enjoyed some success in the world of dance music with a residency at The Warehouse in Leeds, called upon bassist Jacob with whom they’d played in an alt-rock band as teenagers. The line-up is completed by percussionist Felix, who previously toured with the Brooklyn jazz ensemble Snarky Puppy.

They introduced themselves to the world with the ‘Just About Somewhere’ EP, which prompted comparisons with the likes of Caribou, Arthur Russell and Grizzly Bear, and it was soon followed by ‘Holding It Down’. Low Island’s radio support to date has included Huw Stephens, Phil Taggart and MistaJam (who picked the band as a recent New Name) at Radio 1, and at 6 Music by Tom Robinson, Tom Ravenscroft and Lauren Laverne. Facebook here.

'Rest Your Head' is very different from a track we featured by Low Island back in January. This is a flowing, dreamy and tranquil song where the melody is warm and hazy. This band have talent and are firmly on my musical radar.


Hannah Aldridge - No Heart Left Behind.

Background - In literature and in songwriting, the American South is where writers go to face their fears. Hannah Aldridge doesn’t just dip her pen into the well of the South, the Muscle Shoals native embodies it. With every song, she’s facing down demons of a life once lived from substance abuse to failed relationships and scars from the lashes of the bible belt. 

“Gold Rush” is Hannah Aldridge’s second album, a follow up to her 2014 debut “Razor Wire.” While that album launched her career, drew the attention of music writers and sent her touring across the world, “Gold Rush” shows a more mature and introspective artist with more life experience - and music experience - under her belt. The honesty Hannah Aldridge crafts into each track is off-set by her stubborn, maybe defiant, nature, which gives her music a hopeful silver lining. 

“I start writing with ‘this is how I’m feeling and I need to talk about it.’ Doing that helps me sort out my own thoughts on it. My music is an introspective look at the things that happened in my life. It’s me trying to sort through and put feelings into words,” she said. Hannah Aldridge is the daughter of Muscle Shoals legend Walt Aldridge. An Alabama Music Hall of Famer, Walt Aldridge is a prolific and decorated songwriter of countless Number One and Top Ten hits recorded by the likes of Lou Reed, Reba McEntire, Travis Tritt, Earl Thomas Conley, Ricky Van Shelton, Ronnie Milsap, and Conway Twitty.

Mixing her personal life and the sounds of her hometown, Hannah Aldridge’s new album also draws in influences from across the rock genre. Working with people with one foot in country music and one foot in rock, Hannah Aldridge makes a fresh kind of Southern Rock styled by Southern Gothic storytelling. You can hear it in “Gold Rush”’s ode to burning out, or in the yearning of “Burning Down Birmingham”, and anthem-for-the-lonely “No Heart Left Behind” – a track that is shot-through with wild riffs.

Hannah Aldridge shares the video for new single "No Heart Left Behind." New album "Gold Rush" is out in the UK on June 16 via Rootsy Music. July UK tour dates can be found on Beehive Candy's tour page, Website here, Facebook here.

If you fancy a slice of lively, passionate, southern rock then 'No Heart Left Behind' from Hannah Aldridge ticks all of those boxes. If the new album is on a par with this song, then I reckon a considerable number of music lovers will be very satisfied.