Caretaker - Little Mammoths - Jim Lauderdale - People Like You - MAP

Caretaker - Swallow.

Background - Caretaker are a rock band from Brooklyn that formed from the ashes of several other popular Brooklyn bands. They deliver high-energy rock songs that make you want to dance just as much as they make you want to punch a hole in your wall. 

Long after you’ve left the venue, their melodies will get stuck in your head and their memory will be burned in your mind. They are fronted by a real-life nanny. Members: Erin Pellnat, Eva Lawitts, Alex Pulakos, Damian Sim, and Chris Krasnow.

“Swallow” is a song about being trapped in a relationship (or any situation, really) where someone is successful in convincing you that you are constantly wrong. This gets to the point where you believe everything they say, gladly taking punishment and abuse from them and wrongfully accepting that you deserve it. So you just cut ties and set yourself free. Website here, Facebook here.

There is a vibrant pace and feel to 'Swallow,' where feisty vocals compete with an ultra tight musical arrangement, accompanied by some robust synths, that add even more colour to this very catchy song.


Little Mammoths - Hungover In New York.

Background - Little Mammoths are a London-based Rock’n’Roll Bar Band formed in 2014, that continue charging down the vein of The Hold Steady, Drive-by Truckers and Wilco. Comprised of Matt Owens (ex-Noah & The Whale) and some of his oldest friends, Olly Cox on bass and James Besley on drums, now neatly rounded off by renowned pedal steel player Joe Harvey-Whyte, this band have the sort of chemistry most can only dream of. 

Their debut album ‘Phantom Dreams’ was recently released on vinyl in the Spring of 2017, featuring a set of raucous songs about nightly lock-ins the band were privy to over three years of touring the West Coast of Ireland and The Scottish Highlands.  Their raw energy prompted Texan legend Ray Wylie Hubbard to declare: “If your ears dig gnawing on the gritty sounds from a young, dirty, cool rock band, I just found Little Mammoths who satisfy the craving…”

The quartet’s constant gigging and tireless work ethic often result in straight sets in excess of four hours, and has seen their road-hardened material performed to ecstatic crowds alongside Mumford & Sons, Fat White Family and Bahamas and at international festivals including Wilderness, Loopallu and The Clonakilty Guitar Festival.

Little Mammoths will release their eagerly anticipated second album ‘Cargo for The Road’ this summer (23 June), with pedal steel player Joe Harvey-Whyte now firmly in the fold and backed by a 3-piece horn section. The band are set promote the record through 2017 with extensive touring around Europe, and a full UK festival run, including Glastonbury. Website here, Facebook here.

If The Pogues/Kirsty MacColl had ever needed a sequel for their fabulous 'Fairytale of New York' song, then Little Mammoths 'Hungover In New York' would be in my opinion the contender. The obvious link is in the song title, however the emotion, spirit, heart and atmosphere, draws these two very different pieces together, all for the better as far as I'm concerned.


Jim Lauderdale - You Came To Get Me.

Background - Award winning singer and master songwriter Jim Lauderdale embarks on a UK tour in July in the company of My Darling Clementine, Sam Outlaw, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Angaleena Presley, Nick Lowe and Red Sky July. 

To coincide with the tour, Proper Records will release a new single, ‘You Came To Get Me,’ from Jim’s acclaimed new ‘London Southern’ album.  Recorded in London at Goldtop studios and produced by the recently departed Neil Brockbank along with Robert Trehern, London Southern features co-writes with Dan Penn, Joan Oates, Odie Blackmon and Kendell Marvell alongside six Lauderdale solo compositions and a host of celebrated guest musicians. 

Jim Lauderdale is both a ‘songwriter’s songwriter’, who has written/co-written many modern classics for iconic artists, as well as an intuitive sideman who has enhanced the music of a bevy of esteemed musicians. As a solo artist, he has created a critically acclaimed body of work spanning nearly 30 albums of imaginative roots music, encompassing country, bluegrass, soul, R&B and rock.

Throughout his three-decade career, Lauderdale has helped pave the way for the current Americana movement, recording albums and writing songs that cross genres from country, rock, folk and bluegrass. Jim has written many classic songs for iconic artists and worked with some of the finest performers in traditional and modern music, including Robert Hunter, Ralph Stanley, Elvis Costello, George Strait, Buddy Miller, Lucinda Williams, John Oates, Solomon Burke, Lee Ann Womack, Old Crow Medicine Show, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Blake Shelton, the Dixie Chicks, Vince Gill, Patty Loveless, and Gary Allan among many, many others. He co-hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM with Buddy Miller, "The Buddy & Jim Show," and is also co-host of Music City Roots, the weekly live and radio, podcast and PBS series.

Jim has won two Grammys and been honoured with the SESAC Inspiration Award, the prestigious American Eagle Award from the National Music Council along with Kris Kristofferson and in 2016, the aforementioned US Americana Music Association’s Wagonmaster Award. Tour dates on Beehive Candy's tour news page, website here.

'You Came To Get Me' oozes the class and sophistication, that an artist of Jim Lauderdale's calibre might be expected to constantly deliver. This is a beautifully constructed song, the arrangement is slightly understated, making room for feeling and personality to shine through. Whatever a persons track record might be, songs like this should never be taken for granted.


People Like You - Variations on an Aria.

Background - People Like You will release their sophomore album entitled Verse on July 28 via Topshelf Records. Yesterday they shared the lead single "Variations on an Aria".

The five-piece Boston-based band, People Like You, formed in 2014 from the short-lived emo/math punk band, I Kill Giants, which included guitarist/vocalist Chris Lee-Rodriguez and drummer Sander Bryce. After the release of their first record, This is what you learned. on Broken World Media, People Like You expanded to include longtime collaborator and trumpet player Matt Hull, as well as vocalist/pianist Michi Tassey, and Animal Flag’s Sai Boddupalli on bass.

After several years of making a name for themselves in the small DIY house show circuit in the Northeast, the indie jazz outfit will release their sophomore album, Verse on Topshelf Records. Incorporating improvisation, classical guitar, breakbeats, a punk ethos, literary references, and beautiful pop melodies, People Like You has developed a sound that they can truly call their own. Facebook here, Topshelf Records here.

'Variations on an Aria' is a fabulous genre defying song, that pretty much confirms the above promo to be spot on. Whats more it is addictive, and ensures their sophomore album 'Verse' is a must hear for me.


MAP - Skills To Rebuild.

Background - Los Angeles-based MAP will be releasing his new EP 'Hello Singularity (Writer's Block Part One)' on Velvet Blue Music, June 16th. The EP was mixed by Ken Ramos and mastered by Jason Martin of Starflyer 59.

Inspired by being paralyzed by the neck down from the West Nile Virus in 2014 and influenced by bands like The Smiths, Stereolab, Beach House and Future Islands, the new EP and its lead single "Skills To Rebuild" present a pensive yet joyful outlook on life.

The lyrics were inspired by my own recovery from the hospital and the simultaneous loss of my best friend Rene' from a genetic kidney disease and how it taught me fear in general is pointless. Fear can't keep your friends alive, fear won't keep someone from leaving you. I should take a chance and open myself up to the possibility of hurt and disappointment in life because whatever happens, I now have the skills to rebuild.

Basically life is too short to be afraid of heartbreak or of how people may feel about your art so get out of the house make art, kiss people, take risks, be present. If you can walk in sunshine with friends and family you are filthy rich and if someone breaks your heart don't worry you'll be fine you might even get a new song or two out of it. Website here.

There is a refreshing feel to 'Skills To Rebuild' as soon as the song begins. The background above establishes the context of the song, it's admirable that the track achieves and conveys so much more. That it's catchy, and such a well produced track, almost seems a bonus.