Vamos - You Are Wolf - Em Joy

Vamos - Outsiders.

Background - After a nearly three-year wait, Chicago garage punks Vamos are about to drop their sophomore LP, 1~2~3, via Maximum Pelt, a Windy City-based, small batch cassette and record label that specializes in punk, garage, psych, noise and experimental music.

Vamos (Ryan Murphy-guitar/vocals, Will Wood-bass, Josh Lambert-drums) formed during Chicago’s epic blizzard of 2011 and began playing the city’s thriving DIY scene, quickly garnering the attention of local blogs, including Chicagoist, who described the trio as having “a potent and turbulent energy both live and in their recorded material.” On the live front, Vamos graduated from playing shows at local underground venues, including Wally World and Animal Kingdom, to touring nationally, with show and festival appearances on both coasts, in Austin, Texas during SXSW and in their hometown for Riot Fest.

Vamos released the Heatwave EP in spring of 2013 and followed up quickly that winter with the EP Midwaste. The band’s 2015 debut LP Spiderbait (Maximum Pelt) was named one of Chicago’s best rock records of the year by the Chicago Reader and the single “Outsiders” (which appears on 1~2~3) was released in summer, 2016.

Vamos completed the recording of 1~2~3 in November, 2016 with the intention of releasing the LP and touring to support it from January of that year through February of 2017. Those plans were put on hold when, on December 30th, Murphy was hit by a car while riding his bike and broke both his arms. Having bounced back from his injuries, Murphy is ready to unleash 1~2~3, a record that he, Wood and Lambert describe as “a controlled descent into madness and mayhem [where] ghostly echoes and reverberations chase edgy, unforgettable melodies.” FACEBOOK.

Typifying the rumbustious nature of Vamos and their finally released 1-2-3 album we feature 'Outsiders' the second track of fourteen in this mesmerising collection of Garage, Grunge and purified Rock & Roll. Don't get me wrong there are more sedate moments of power pop, however at the core the band are high octane and empowered rockers of class.


You Are Wolf - Breathe In Breathe Out.

Background - You Are Wolf is the alt-folk project of award-winning composer and vocalist Kerry Andrew. Releasing her second album KELD in March, it is the follow-up to her 2014 debut Hawk To The Hunting Gone, a record that explored British birds and folklore. Now working as a trio with multi-instrumentalist Sam Hall and percussionist Peter Ashwell, KELD - an old Northern English word meaning “the deep, still, smooth part of a river” – is an album that explores and develops the theme of freshwater. Wild swimming is a key passion and inspiration of hers, and she can often be found dipping into lochs, lakes, rivers and the sea in all weathers. Though there are countless traditional songs about the sea, there are less about our inland waterways, and Kerry decided to use this as a challenge: to source traditional material and write originals all inspired by freshwater folklore.

It was an aim of Kerry’s to find songs that featured an array of strong female characters, and KELD includes traditional songs about waterfall banshees, killer female water sprites, drowning boys and powerful witches. Original songs are inspired by wild swimming, vengeful rivers, nymphs and naiads, and even an Anglo-Saxon charm. You Are Wolf brings these ancient songs and stories into the present, with bold arrangements inspired by leftfield pop, new classical music and electronica.

The album is produced by MaJiker, best known for his work on French alt-pop queen Camille’s Victoire-winning albums. He has also remixed / worked with Fever Ray, Nitin Sahwney and Gaggle, and brings an experimental pop sensibility to the album. Where Hawk To The Hunting Gone was heavily vocal, with lots of vocal looping - inspired by the likes of Camille, Bobby Mcferrin, Meredith Monk and tUnE-yArDs – KELD is more expansive. With a wider palate of sounds including drums, ‘cello, vibraphone, trumpet, found sounds and field recordings, it’s an album that not only draws from innovative contemporary folk artists including Lisa Knapp (who features here on “The Weeper”), Sam Lee and The Unthanks, but also by music outside the folk sphere: everything from minimalist composer Steve Reich to PJ Harvey, traditional Central African Pygmy music and Julia Holter. The brilliant poet Robin Robertson also appears. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

'Breathe In Breathe Out' for me is one of those songs that grow on you step by step. Not that it took that long, by the time the track had reached the end it was down to be featured. Creative and just a tiny bit experimental, it's also subtly catchy and hard to resist another listen.


Em Joy - The Feast.

Background - “I just can’t sing if I don’t have sunshine in my soul” - Em Joy. Behind the feel good vibes and cute voice, Em Joy’s music is a deep reflection of her colourful and sometimes chaotic life, having been in exile from Zimbabwe as a child, this joyful soul has seen the world through many different perspectives and has come out the other side with an important message for all of us.

Em Joy sounds like a mix between Colbie Caillat, Missy Higgins and Passenger with a dash of quirky Norah Jones along with some lighthearted but thoughtful musings similar to Jack Johnson. The music ranges from leaving you feeling happy and lighthearted to contemplating the deeper questions of life and love. It’s altogether ‘human’ - earnest, honest, vulnerable and true. Em Joy has shared the stage supporting many acts such as The Waifs, Matt McHugh and has been lucky enough to work with other artists such as Billy Otto and written and recorded music for Sony EMI. Her music has been featured in many advertisements and she has also had her voice featured on various TV shows including The Mustangs now showing in Australia.

“The Wanderings” is Em Joy’s latest 8 track album recorded in Perth, Western Australia at O2 studios at the culmination of her year travelling Australia in a custom made van. The album deals with many aspects of love, life and the wild dynamics of travel (due out on the 30th March 2018).

Em Joy was born in Zimbabwe, Africa. She grew up on a farm, riding elephants and learning about the wild African wilderness from a young age. Em Joy was known for whistling happy tunes from a young age her family often joked that her constant whistling might be due to her eating bird seed. She grew up listening to classical music and only when the family was forced to leave their farm due to political issues in Zimbabwe did she start listening to more contemporary music. Her musical career really started when she met a producer from Australia, Billy Otto, who heard her songs and suggested she should record them. Soon after her music was featured in TV advertisements around Australia. WEBSITE, FACEBOOK.

If you enjoy 'The Feast' then I am certain the other seven tracks on 'The Wanderings' will not disappoint, in fact lets turn that around to a positive, they are gorgeous and will delight you. Em Joy's sensitive and melodic singer-songwriter material is captivating and just so pleasing...