Armada Of Secrets - The Blue Stones - Golden Cinema - Cox's Army - Izzy Frances - Michael Malarkey - Jody and the Jerms - Piers Faccini

Armada Of Secrets feel that their new song 'Make Me Over' is a milestone for the band. It's also a marvelous and empassioned rocker of a track. === Blues rock duo The Blue Stones have a new video for 'Shakin' Off The Rust', which is a slick and potent song. === The new three track E.P from Golden Cinema is called 'Peachy Keen', and the three member band share some catchy indie rock. === Cox's Army are a bluegrass band and 'New Richmond Town' is a highly engaging track and a fine taster for thier new album. === Ollie Trevers has a new E.P. out and we have 'Can't Make It Up' and 'Stage Of Fools' to relish over, his vocals are wonderful (shades of Jeff Buckley) and the songs are beautiful as well. ===Songwriter Izzy Frances has released 'Safety' a song that showcases both her creative skils and fabulous vocals. === Michael Malarkey has a new video for 'Graveracer', his distinct vocals supported by an understated musical backdrop that gradually builds. === Jody and The Jerms new song 'He Doesn't Know Me Much At All' is a vibrant alt rocker packing plenty of hooks. === Finally today we have Piers Faccini and the beautiful song 'Could Have Been You' where his gorgeous vocals are surrounded by an enchanting musical arrangement .

Armada Of Secrets - Make Me Over.

"This track is a milestone for the band. All of our songs come from experience, but we felt that we were laid bare with this track. So much so that we delayed releasing it, and even went on hiatus as a result of writing it. It brought all of our anxieties, fears, and accomplishments (and even lack of) to the forefront. That level of honesty scared us. This track symbolises our return, a coming to terms with who we are and what we believe in’’.

Life submerges us all in its intensity. Some rise and some fall beneath waves of self-doubt and self-destruction. On ‘Make Me Over’ Armada of Secrets offer themselves to us at their most autobiographical. Caroline Kabera’s lyrics challenge the constant cloying desire we have to remodel ourselves and to escape into hypothetical new-selves, because the grass always seems greener. Built around Carl Dawkins’ minimalistic bassline (contrary to his usual, more complex approach), the song crescendos towards its explosive choruses through subtle nuances in rhythm and colour. Kabera’s voice is full-bodied, recalling the kind of soul-influenced vocals found in nineties and early noughties sentimental dance classics.

There’s a heart-wrenching and life-affirming intensity to their performance, which the band describes as their simplest yet. ‘Make Me Over’ is a prayer for meaning, pining for an irrecoverable past and an unattainable future. It’s the sound of a band who feel every sentiment close to the bone. The song doesn’t fade out so much as stop, leaving its haunting chimes ringing in our ears long into the lingering silence beyond.

London’s Armada of Secrets is made up of vocalist Caroline Kabera and bassist Carl Dawkins. They met in music school after Kabera immigrated to London from Burundi. Carl then toured the world in a variety of bands, and Caroline kept her singing national while working hard for women’s care refuge charities - a cause close to her heart. They later reignited their explosive musical chemistry as Armada of Secrets.

A rollicking drum-and-bass-driven power duo, marrying danceable post-punk with raw, soulful singing, and deeply affecting observational lyricism, their project is a heady and untameable mix, vital and undeniable, greater than the sum of its parts. They themselves have struggled to label the sound for years. Their closest approximation comes to ‘Post Punk Power Pop Alternative Dance Rock’ but at its core they suspect it’s probably rock and soul, though they’re keen to hear what fans think. After going on hiatus when they finished writing ‘Make Me Over’, it took a chance re-listen to their tracks - with the encouragement of friends and fans - for them to come back and once more give their distinct life and light to the country’s indie scene.


The Blue Stones - Shakin' Off The Rust.

Alternative-blues rock duo, The Blue Stones, shared a futuristic music video for their latest single “Shakin’ Off The Rust”, out now on Entertainment One. The clip finds the band and their fans jumping into the virtual world for a concert that evolves into a dance party with a strange twist. Meticulously layered with cannon-esque percussion and electrifying guitars, “Shakin’ Off The Rust” culminates in an inspiring chorus focused on fresh starts. Working with producer Paul Meany (Mutemath, Twenty One Pilots), guitarist/vocalist Tarek Jafar and drummer/vocalist Justin Tessier managed to sonically create an emotional intensity that sets the table perfectly for Jafar’s powerful vocal delivery. Having just wrapped up a European headlining tour, the band are gearing up for 2020 with a new album on the horizon and more touring to come.

On creating the video, the band stated: “We wanted to do something a little different this time around. We think it’s funny that someday — maybe sooner than we think — we won’t have to tour, but can do shows from wherever we want. The video gets a little crazy at times, but we had fun doing it.”

When Tarek Jafar and Justin Tessier formed The Blue Stones, they were facing uncertainty about who they were individually. What they did know for sure, though, was that they wanted to make music together - and, so they did. Following the success of their debut album, Black Holes, the band quickly found a following in the alternative rock world that lead to them sharing the stage with the likes of grandson, Welshly Arms, and Reignwolf. As they began working on new music, The Blue Stones caught the attention of producer, Paul Meany (Mutemath, Twenty One Pilots), with whom they would eventually enter the studio with this past summer.

Working with Meany lead to The Blue Stones exploring – and creating – music in a different way than they had before, and led to a new approach by Jafar when it came to tackling lyrics. The result was the band truly discovering who they were during the writing process. They’ve crafted something that shimmers with such purity and truth – musically and lyrically – that one can’t help but be swept up and carried off by the songs that will eventually form their as-yet-untitled sophomore album slated for release on Entertainment One next year. The duo may be redefining who they are, but their decision to pursue the rock’n’roll dream holds as strong as ever as they enter the next stage of their journey.


Golden Cinema - Peachy Keen (E.P).

Based out of Canada’s smallest province, Prince Edward Island, Golden Cinema is a three-piece indie band with a penchant for summary melodies and bouncy rhythms. Their new EP, "Peachy Keen," is comprised of three songs. It's their first EP and leans into moodier grooves and guitar chimes.

“Our new “Peachy Keen EP” was recorded over the summer of 2019, with Derek and I recorded our parts on Prince Edward Island and Chris recording his guitar and vocals in Toronto. Due to working on a shoestring budget we weren’t all able to be in the same place, which started off feeling like a roadblock but ended up being a fun experiment!

"After the basic recording was done we sent the songs to our mixer and long-time pal, Dan Griffin (Teen Ravine, Arkells), who added some killer synths and strings and mixed the hell out of it. Dan Weston, who Chris actually plays on a softball team with, mastered the songs which was exciting because he mixes and masters records for a lot of our favourite Canadian musicans, such as Daniel Romano. We’re thrilled with how the songs turned out and can’t wait to get back to work on more music. Maybe it’s finally time for a full length album…” – Andy


Cox's Army - New Richmond Town.

Cox's Army is a bluegrass band that performs classic and original material in the traditional style. Founded in 2016, the band is led by 'Cousin' Chuck Cox (Guitar, Lead Vocal) and features Laird Patten (Banjo), Jeff Burke (Mandolin, Baritone Vocal), and Jack Campbell (Bass, Tenor Vocal). The band keeps things traditional and acoustic, but believes that there is plenty of room for new material and innovation within that style. Their live show is built around a blend of Chuck Cox's original songs and a healthy dose of classic bluegrass songs. Authentic performance is a core value of Cox's Army. The band most often performs around a small mic cluster to deliver their signature vocal harmonies and they 'work the mic' like classic bluegrass bands to emphasize featured instrumental breaks.

Bandleader Chuck Cox originally hails from Cincinnati, OH, one of the historic centers of bluegrass music in the post-war era. After a 20 year career playing many other styles of music, Chuck found bluegrass through a search for his roots, which took him into Jackson County, KY. The search connected him with far more than he bargained for, finding many living cousins (in order of discovery): The Kirby Knob Boys, Larry Sparks, Dale Farmer (director of The Mountain Minor film), and eventually to David Harvey. Inspired by their examples as true originals, Chuck has worked hard to find his own sound and style as a bluegrass guitar picker, and songwriter.

Cox’s Army’s upcoming album New Richmond Town, planned for release in November of 2019, was recorded in the same spirit as each track is a complete performance without edits or modern studio tricks. The album was recorded in Chicago with Chris Walz producing the sessions and the tracks were mixed with the experienced ear of Rickey Wasson in Clay City, KY. Cox’s Army’s debut album Green Eyed Train, released in 2018, was recorded in the same style with production and mixing by the same team.


Ollie Trevers - Can't Make It Up / Stage Of Fools.

‘The EP’ - Cordelia evokes themes of heartache, melancholia, catharsis and emotional claustrophobia. It is about feelings which often transcend our ability to describe them in words. With his idiosyncratic ear for melody and hooks, and a dynamic sense of opposites (light and dark, loud and quiet, bitter and sweet etc.), Ollie Trevers fires a salvo of emotionally charged numbers that cull influence from across the spectrum of popular guitar music. Cordelia is a narrative of heartbreak, showing the duality of relationships and their untimely endings. It is an exploration of unrequited love and its causes and effects: depression, addiction, disillusionment and longing.

London based singer/songwriter Ollie Trevers studied at Leeds College of Music and ICMP. He started writing and performing music at fourteen years old, harbouring artistic aspirations from the very beginning. A veteran of the band circuit, Ollie released his first solo EP Saucy Naughty Rubbish in 2018. Stylistically, the record saw Ollie exploring a powerful and energetic blend of post-punk and classic rock. His musical direction has since evolved into the five songs you hear on his new EP Cordelia.

It is a kaleidoscopic meeting of styles, channeling punk, alt rock, prog, blues, folk, and psychedelia. Ollie takes inspiration from artists such as Led Zeppelin, Ella Fitzgerald, Edith Piaf, Tim Buckley, Jeff Buckley, Pink Floyd, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Joni Mitchell and David Bowie. Having only performed with his new band since March 2019, Ollie toured in the South of France a few months later. He plans to tour Britain, Europe and Nashville throughout 2020.


Izzy Frances - Safety.

Songwriter Izzy Frances has placed herself firmly on the radar as one of the most exciting up and coming songwriters in the UK. Since releasing her first single ‘You Lost The War’, she’s picked up support from BBC Introducing, Impose Magazine and a number of key Spotify playlists taking her to over 10k streams in her first month.

Performing from a young age, Izzy started by singing and soon taught herself piano out of a passion for performance. Her songwriting life started in her teens when she wrote her first piece of music. She soon found a therapeutic quality to writing music that came from putting life experiences to music, though her inspiration often comes from a number of different sources.

"I've felt strongly about things that have happened in the books I've read or things that have happened in my friends / families lives and often then the songs just kind of pour out."

Still in the early stages of her songwriting journey, Izzy’s hard work and undeniable raw talent is beginning to bear fruit. Her new single ‘You Lost The War’ has been picked up by BBC Introducing, who invited Izzy to their studio for an interview and performance. She’s also picked up live shows at London institutions The Bedford and Spice of Life.

She’s now returning with her second single ‘Safety’ which reinforces her honest songwriting style and undeniable talent. An emotional piece of piano-led pop, it’s a dreamy new single that packs a songwriting maturity beyond Izzy’s years. On the new single she states:

"Safety is about stripping bare and exposing your soul in order to fully love. We're often so afraid of failure, ridicule or rejection that we feel a need to hide who we really are and to pretend the darker parts of us don't exist. But expressing these parts of ourselves should be fanning the flames of real love and strengthening that connection, not dampening it down. No fear, no judgement. 'Treat our love like a gun'"


Michael Malarkey - Graveracer.

Multi-talented singer-songwriter-actor Michael Malarkey renders another brooding deep cut with new single ‘Graveracer’, the first offering and title track from Michael’s upcoming second full length album, due for release on 10th January 2020 via Cap on Kat/Kartel. Michael has also announced an extensive UK and European headline tour, kicking off at Manchester’s Deaf Institute on 9th January and coming to London’s Bush Hall on 10th January.

Best known as the charismatic Enzo in the CW’s television series The Vampire Diaries and Captain Michael Quinn in Robert Zemeckis’ executively produced Project Blue Book for History. The British-American talent has simultaneously cultivated a body of work that established him as a distinctive and captivating crossover talent, winning over audiences in both the music and acting arenas.

Written in 2018 between Puerto Rico and Vancouver whilst Michael was working on both the 50 Cent-produced crime drama The Oath and Project Blue Book, during a time of physical and emotional turbulence – Michael, the cast and crew were evacuated from Puerto Rico during the build-up of Hurricane Maria – an experience that has bled into the artist’s lyrical imagery through the record, perfectly depicting the tense feelings coming from the fragile balance of work and home.

“During the time I was working on the record, I escaped two hurricanes - as well as a third, I suppose, my own personal one. This record is my Odyssey in a way. It’s the journey back home after being ravaged in the seas of your own mind and finding the strength to carry on after the storm. I was left with a feeling of freedom and I found it through these songs. The opening track to the record, ‘Graveracer’, is the hearthstone of this journey. The road may be dark, but the night is full of stars”, reveals Michael.

Recorded at Tesla Studios in Sheffield, UK and produced by Michael and dark-folk maverick singer-songwriter A.A. Williams, ‘Graveracer’ is a visceral body of work and a masterful culmination of the last few years of Michael’s musical development, drawing together the strength of his unique live performances and influences in what is one of the most captivating releases of the year.


Jody and The Jerms - He Doesn't Know Me Much At All.

Previously achieving success with The Anydays, Jody and the Jerms pick up the indie baton and look to power-pop, new wave and classic indie to light their path, with chiming guitars, 80’s Juno synth waves and Jody’s swooningly wide-eyed vocals.

Previously playing in bands who have received BBC Radio 2 plays, played major festivals and played alongside the likes of Radiohead and Supergrass, guitarist Niall Jeger and drummer Alex Bridge have hooked up with newcomer Jody on vocals to reinvent themselves as a band who are happy to ignore trends and play the music that excites them.

Now in the run up to their EP release, the band have shared a brand new single 'He Doesn't Know Me At All'; a nostalgic pop delight, that blends all those glittery, uplifting melodies and radiates the band's bubbly personality.

Looking to release their 2020 live dates in the near future, the Oxford trio are bringing back harmony-laden indie pop with an unmistakable nostalgic edge.


Piers Faccini - Could Have Been You.

In 2018, Piers Faccini came up with the idea of releasing an EP vinyl series for his label, Beating Drum, in order to champion the kind of eclectic and talented artists the label meets and seeks out for their productions. The EP collection called, 'HEAR MY VOICE', began with three distinct and original voices from around the world, the Neapolitan songwriter, GNUT, New Zealand songstress, TUi MAMAKI and the Trinidadian poet and singer, Roger Robinson under his Folk alias, HORSEDREAMER.

For the fourth EP in the collection and wishing to highlight the series more, Piers Faccini decided to release one of his own.

In his previous albums, 'I DREAMED AN ISLAND' (2016) and 'SONGS OF TIME LOST' (2014) with cellist Vincent Segal, the songwriter had explored cross cultural routes to reach a form of songwriting without borders but for his 'HEAR MY VOICE' EP, he found inspiration in the kind of British and North American folk that coloured his first forays into songwriting and the result is vintage Faccini songwriting ; sparse, essential and poetic.

The first two songs on the EP, ‘Could This Be You’ and ‘Hope Dreams’ are dressed in the string arrangements of composer Luc Suarez, a collaborator in Faccini’s first band, Charley Marlowe in the 90’s and also feature drums played by Ken Coomer, (Wilco, Uncle Tupelo).
Two more intimate tracks, ‘Angel of Mercy’ and ‘Say You Don’t Know’ are reserved for side B, songs with with which we can picture the songwriting artisan, at work in his hideaway in the hills of the Cevennes in southern France.