GREY \\ WATER - The fin. - Tom Rosenthal - Guts - Tom Walters

GREY \\ WATER - Jimmy.

Background - GREY \\ WATER is a culmination of close friends blending their influences to create one distinct sound. 

As a band they wanted to create a song that challenged them to maintained their DIY spirit, while recording new material at a studio for the first time. To delve into a variety of creative processes. 

Lead singer Charlotte Grace Victoria's thoughts on the song: "I feel as though the story of Jimmy and his significant other reflects the same idea. On the surface, there is a couple in the midst of honeymoon love, yet along with that, there is an undertone of the pressure to change and evolve into something new." Facebook here.

Some brisk and bright guitar lead music introduces 'Jimmy'. When the beautiful vocals join in, the songs emotional feel deepens, and the melodic hooks really dig in.


The fin. - Pale Blue.

Background - Arriving just in time for the start of summer proper, ‘Pale Blue’ is a sun-bleached slice of disco-tinged lysergia akin to Currents era Tame Impala. Yuto Uchino’s infectious melodies have a hint of Bee Gees’ irresistibility about them, and his impressive full-bodied production approach builds towering walls of synth and funk guitars around his hooks. The organic and electronic elements warp and merge tactfully to make a heady musical trip. It’s the second track to be taken from new album following ‘Afterglow’, the LP is expected to land next year. 
The fin. are a group comprised of Yuto Uchino (vocals and synths), Ryosuke Odagaki (guitar), and Kaoru Nakazawa (drums / bass). Since their formation in 2012 as an extension of Yuto’s musical vision (he wrote and recorded their initial records in his bedroom), they’ve performed to thousands of rapturous fans at major festivals including Fuji Rock, SXSW and Rising Sun. Staking their claim on America in 2015, they embarked on a major tour there, which included a performance at SXSW, before signing to Lost In The Manor the same year to release their debut UK EP ‘Night Time’. Last year’s ‘Through The Deep’ EP was a cleverly refined follow-up and it prefaced their decision to move to London that autumn. 

Their tenure here has seen them develop themselves artistically through collaborations writing, recording, and touring with a wealth of British artists and producers like Brad Spence, All We Are, Ten Fe, Circa Waves, Last Shadow Puppets, Petite Noir, FEWS, Anchorsong, Slow Dance and many more. They’ve just finished a world tour that included the UK, Japan, USA, China, Thailand and Malaysia along with a showcase at SXSW and another to come at The Great Escape. Praise has built quickly around the group and they’ve achieved over two million Spotify plays for their stylish Europhile blend of synth-pop, chillwave and dream-pop, complete with English lyrics addressing universal themes of everyday uncertainties. Latest single ‘Afterglow’ will be remixed by FEWS and Anchorsong (a huge fan of the band having played at their all-nighter parties in East London), and with it they’re evidently reaching the zenith of their artistic maturity, making vital and exciting new music for the road ahead. Pertinently, The fin. are a reflection of the idea that music is rooted in feeling and not borders. Facebook here.

Our third feature for The fin. who first came to my notice getting on for a couple of years ago. New track 'Pale Blue' has a hint of classic disco hidden amongst the bands excellent melodic sensibilities and a clever arrangement that allows both vocals, harmonies and the fine musicianship, all to shine.


Tom Rosenthal - Take Over.

Background - Tom Rosenthal has this to say about his new music video ‘The video is about a couple meeting on a train for the first time and the starting of a romantic spark that prompts the male character to give the female character a pineapple but it's a magic pineapple... Hannah is an incredible animator with a style totally unique to her and I've been lucky enough to work with her for a few years now. Our previous collaborations have been viewed over 4 million times so something must be right!'

With songs featuring on a number of TV soundtracks (‘Skins’, ‘Hard Knocks’, 'Kid Poker'), major films including 'Comet', 'Anesthesia' and 'The Odyssey' (2016) as well as Vodafone’s official campaign, Rosenthal has seen his audience grow firmly, promptly and rapidly with more and more demand for his music.

It is worth mentioning that he’s achieved all this fully on his own and without any help from a manager, record label, publisher, booking agent, PR or PA. Subsequently his YouTube channel, showcasing his award-winning music videos (which he’s won for Best Video at the European Independent Film Festival 2017), has now amassed well over 30 million views and his Spotify streams well over 60 million…

Now he’s just released his much-anticipated new album ‘Fenn’. Sonically it fits high up there with the likes of Bon Iver, James Vincent McMorrow and Father John Misty.

The album 'Fenn' was written and recorded following the birth of his 2nd child (named Fenn) and is his most ambitious project to date. Having previously stuck to simple acoustic instrumentation, here Rosenthal expands into the world of trumpets, choirs, and 1970's Moogs. Comprised of 15 varied tracks, 'Fenn' was composed as an antidote to the troubled and shifting times of 2016. So apart from 'P.A.S.T.A', here we find songs ranging from reflections on modern man's coffee habits (‘What's Getting You Down, James?’), to songs simply focused on rising above it all (‘Throw The Fear, It Won't Be Me’).

Conclusion? Tom Rosenthal is an odd pearl worthy of your attention, so sharpen your ears, put your headphones on and let the music do the rest. Facebook here.

I think it's eminently fair to say I'm just a little late to the party when it comes to Tom Rosenthal. 'Take Over' being my first conscious listen to his music, leaves me urgently checking out his other material. A fabulous song!


Guts - Everybody Wants to Be a Star (feat. Wolfgang).

Background - The energy levels are spiking into the red with Guts latest fuzzy retro synth infested groove cut ‘Everybody Wants To Be A Star’ (ft. Wolfgang). With a plethora of guests and varied palette of sounds encompassing afro, soul, jazz, funk, hip hop and more, the French producer is aiming to ‘Stop The Violence’ and instead create a world of pure joyous united vibes with their new EP of the same title.

The unpredictable nature of life for a band with members scattered around the globe have forced Guts to give his line-up a shake to start their various tours in the best possible conditions. A Brand New Revolution!

So Leron Thomas gave way to Wolfgang Volburn, who is also lead vocalist of The Ephemerals. Mary May climbed onto Lorine Chia’s throne. Beat Assaillant plucked a mic from the air that was still burning from the flow of Von Pea. With Florian Pellissier remains riveted to the keyboards, versatile Greg F. on the guitar and Nico Rajao on drums, Guts has gobbled up the miles and bestrode stage after stage at the head of a revitalised live band.

New recruits had kept enhancing the well-practised repertoire with their vibes, redefining some of the contours, adding a bit more soul here or a lightness of touch there. Their impact was so great, in fact, that changing line-ups have become part of the band’s identity.

Galvanized by this new alchemy, Guts and his new-look live band stopped off in the studio to compose and record some new tracks which he has brought together on Stop the Violence, a five-track record that’s more like a mini-album than a simple EP.

High on this regenerating juice, energy levels spiking into the red, Ain’t Perfect, Pick Me Up, Everybody Wants to Be a Star, Drummer’s Delight and the title track light up boxes marked soul, afro, disco and jazz, brighten a groove carpeted with retro-funky keyboards and the brass of Cotonete, Heavenly Sweetness’s resident jazz-funk specialists.

Two birds with one stone, since Guts and his live band will obviously use Stop the Violence to set the stage ablaze after burning up people’s decks. Label website here, Facebook here.

Mixing retro synth styles and more modern musical sounds 'Everybody Wants to Be a Star (feat. Wolfgang)' is a buoyant, upbeat and very catchy song. A perfect summer soundtrack song, to dance or listen to.


Tom Walters - Marlborough.

Background - Tom Walters is an up-and-coming folk-rock artist based in the inner suburbs of Sydney. Walters has spent the last year crafting a catalogue of catchy, riff-based tunes to be released as an EP in the near future. The music is a blend of John Butler-esque finger-style guitar, acoustic pop sentiments in the realm of Ed Sheeran, and some classic rock and roll vibes to keep things fun!

Walters has a simple mission; “write songs that have a heart and a hook.” 

‘Marlborough’ is the debut single for Tom Walters. The song was first demoed in February at One Flight Up Studios in St Peters along with a handful of other tracks. In April, Walters was back in the studio to start tracking Marlborough for single release. The song was produced by head engineer Adam Barns at One Flight Up. Walters also enlisted the help of ‘Stormbird’ drummer Nedad Teofilovic as a session player during the recording process. The recording was completed in early May with additional vocals, guitars, synths, and percussion laid down to fill out the track.

Tom says on the creation of the track, “‘Marlborough’ began when I was still living at home. My Dad was teaching himself how to play ‘The Rain Song’ by Led Zeppelin on my guitar, so he kept tuning it in this bizarre open style tuning. Sometimes I couldn’t be bothered to tune it back so I would just jam with it in this open tuning and sure enough, some interesting riffs started to flow out of me, including the main ‘Marlborough’ riff. I felt as though I understood the instrument better in this new open tuning and song after song started tumbling out of me and my guitar.” 

‘Marlborough’ is a melting pot of Tom Walters’ musical influences. The acoustic guitar riff is then layered over with gritty electric guitars, simple attacking rock grooves on the drums, and some synths to add depth to the sound.

The vocals move from single layer melodies to increasingly rich harmonies as the song progresses. Lyrically the song is about finding comfort in a person, losing that person, and then finding new comfort in activities and substances that offer short term healing but perhaps will prove damaging in the long term. Tom Walters can be found playing at the Town Hall Hotel in Newtown, Sydney Wednesday nights. Bandcamp here.

Apart from the fact that it's the other side of the world to me, I could quite happily spend my Wednesday evening at The Town Hall Hotel listening to Tom Walters. With his stated mission being to “write songs that have a heart and a hook.” featured song 'Marlborough' suggests he is well on target to achieve that goal.