Imperial Daze - Silent Forum - Natalie Bouloudis - West Wickhams - M Ward - Oliver James - Thom Sawyr - Teeniest - Sam Weber

Imperial Daze have released 'Centerpole'. We have featured the band a couple of times this year and the latest song reinforces just how talented these indie rockers are. === Silent Forum have a brand new album entitled 'Everything Solved At Once'. Having featured the band a few times I have to say the album lives up to expectations, with the band keeping the interest and intrigue rolling throughout. === Another artist who has been on our radar for sometime is Natalie Bouloudis who today shares 'Outlaster' a moody, atmospheric and addictive song. === West Wickhams today release 'He's Acquired A New Face' the a side of two impressive, distinct and hook filled songs. === With a new album scheduled for April next year M. Ward creates anticipation with the first taste entitled 'Migration Of Souls'. === Comprising of four songs Oliver James has released 'The Hardest Part' an E.P that takes in folk, indie rock, psych and mixes it all up beautifully. === Thom Sawyr shares 'Help Me Out' a striking song with wonderful vocals and a musical arrangement that adds even more. === Teeniest new song 'Set Me Up Boys' is simply gorgeous, with a fabulous choice of musical instrumentation and those warm melodic vocals, that regulars to Beehive Candy should find familiar. === Finally today we have a new lyric video from Sam Weber for 'Probably Not' a refined singer songwriter piece and a taste of next January's new album release.

Imperial Daze - Centerpole.

And the band tell us... Since forming in 2016, and our first single release in 2017, we’ve released 2 EPs, scored a short film, built own own recording studio in a disused eel warehouse in Tower Bridge, and shared stages around the UK with the likes of The Maccabees, Mystery Jets, Nilufer Yanya, All We Are and Matt Maltese.

Our latest EP, Surfaces Sensibles was released in June 2019 and received a very positive response from UK radio, with singles being playlisted on Radio X and Amazing Radio as well as receiving a multitude of spot plays across the BBCnetwork and being invited for interviews with the likes of Amy Lame and Guy Garvey over at BBC6 Music.

The song we’re sharing with you now is called Centerpole and is about a dialogue with someone close who is stuck in a loop and struggling with addiction, depression and self-doubt.

In contrast to its heavy subject matter the song itself is an up-beat, groove based crooning number, as equally indebted to 90’s US hip-hop as it might be to Lee Hazelwood or Toro Y Moi.


Silent Forum - Everything Solved At Once (Album).

4-piece Silent Forum are a contrary bunch. Cardiff dwelling but lacking the quirky and often dulcet left-of-centre pop of their Welsh contemporaries, Silent Forum instead offer up a much edgier angular noise, perhaps more representative of the gritty streets of London from which they originally came.

Yet Silent Forum’s sound isn’t straightforward. It’s a textured, technicoloured trip that separates it from punk’s three chords or post-punk’s monochrome doom. Silent Forum have been described, very fittingly, as an “uncouth Talking Heads” (Buzz magazine), sharing a sophistication and playfulness of the latter with “the progressive pop sound of XTC and the new wave idiosyncrasy of Squeeze” (Destroy/Exist). Or as Silent Forum put it, many of their songs are “punky without being punk.” Rejecting both geographical and musical pigeonholing, the themes of ‘Everything Solved At Once’ also veer towards the unexpected. Avoiding cliched break-up or party tracks, Silent Forum’s album is in part themed around a disgruntled office worker, with an awareness of the tongue-in-cheek humour in juxtaposing corporate life lyrics with jagged punk numbers.

One single Spin is an observation of the boredom and misery of the average office worker, whilst Robot offers a character piece written from the perspective of a jaded, stressed and deskbound employee. The bleak lyrics, “I feel a shortage of high pressure in my life/ I need the office chair/ I need spreadsheets I hold dear/ I love coffee, I hate beer”, play out over a merging of 70’s punk and early noughties jangling indie of a Good Shoes variety.

Other songs are themed on Silent Forum’s experience of being in a band, such as How I Faked The Moon Landing, an exhilarating shape-shifting track reminiscent of Simple Minds’ Berlin dance scene inspired new-wave, or more recently The Horrors, Skying-era, whilst taking influence from LCD Soundsystem and The Rapture. Released as the album’s first single in 2018 it ironically picked up a tonne of BBC Radio play given its lyrics: “Music’s not business, we’re destined to be a local band not on the local radio.”

Whilst album track Pop Act is a 6-minute pop song with a deep dark groove, written as a two-fingered response to a DJ who called the band too serious. Elsewhere on the record Silent Form touch on Spanish folk music on Credit to Mark Sinker, with its wonderfully chaotic mix of trumpets, discordant guitar lines, sleazy bass and Flamenco pattern; there’s the “face-melter” Outmoded, a track indebted to David Gilmour’s transition into noise-rock; Safety In Numbers dips its toe into British folk style guitar (curtesy of some Nick Drake influence), crossed with Nu Jazz drumming and a nuanced Johnny Marr guitar jangle; Kind of Blue is jazz inspired with a subtle touch of baggy’s stoner haze; Great Success is awash with The Cure-esque nostalgic melancholy, and album title track Everything Solved At Once is deliberately ‘pop’ with a Samba like break-down. Silent Forum have a special magic whereby their music has echoes of every seminal band you ever loved across every pioneering and forever fresh genre of the last four decades, yet crammed into edgy, enthralling, infectious songs with a fervent originality and unrivalled energy.


Natalie Bouloudis - Outlaster.

There’s a giant tidal wave incoming; the world is in chaos but there is assurance in the cool and defiant vocals of Natalie Bouloudis in Outlaster, the first single to be released in two years by the London-based and Sussex-bred singer-songwriter.

Outlaster is a song for our time, inspired by Bouloudis’ life-long fascination of the dystopian genre, be it Margaret Atwood’s bleak myths of an unreachable paradise or the sound of dripping oil against one of Ridley Scott’s burnt orange skies. Outlaster combines storytelling with a tenacious spirit, painting visions of a not-too-distant apocalyptic future which is nevertheless overcome with strength of character. An ode to hope and reconciliation and a much needed beacon to lead us out of the gloom of 2019.

Outlaster speaks of endurance, Bouloudis sings of ‘savage beauty’, hard lessons and redemption, with directness and lyricism. The song bursts into action with pulsating drums and an urgent glissando bass that conjures up a sense of suspense. The tension continues to rise like a cool mist, with plucked violin dancing across the droning guitar riff before an explosive release into the hook-laden chorus. It is an exhilarating and transformative listening experience, driven by a melody that rises and falls hypnotically like the waves on an energetic sea, and with vocals that soar on each undulating crest, effortlessly evoking reminders of Patti Smith. The song culminates in a spectacular outro, both melodic and imaginative, completing the track’s triumphal arch.

This is an anthem for survival at a time when we are haunted with the idea of extinction. ‘Here comes disaster’ and ‘I’m the outlaster’ Bouloudis sings, in her unmistakably smoky tones, with both a power and a level of control that can only derive from performing regularly. Outlaster offers an atmospheric soundscape, a revelation to anybody who wishes they could hear David Bowie’s Rock & Roll Suicide for the first time again, only this time with a female vocal reminiscent of the lurching tones of PJ Harvey and the soulfulness of Cat Power.

Bouloudis says, ‘what makes the dystopian genre so captivating is how it provides a thrilling and escapist ride full of awe but even more importantly, it holds up a mirror to human nature’. In Outlaster, we are introduced to the themes to be found throughout the forthcoming EP, Devil is Doubt which she says has ‘moments of reconciliation throughout the record’ but just like Outlaster ‘it holds together with a unifying sense of an unbreakable spirit pushing ahead of existential agonies.’


West Wickhams - He's Acquired A New Face.

West Wickhams are a psychedelic garage noir duo from the Isles of Scilly, Tresco. Consisting of Jon Othello and Elle Flores, West Wickham’s music manifests itself with such style, the effect is a timeless body of sound. Hailing from Tresco, the island of lost souls, subtropical plants and shipwrecked figureheads, the pair recently relocated to Richmond Surrey, proclaiming themselves an imagined rival gang to punk style icons, the Bromley Contingent.

Their colourful history brings a depth to their sound reminiscent of legendary bands such as The Doors, Blondie and Siouxshie and the Banshees.

However, the band themselves declare their influences largely from sources outside the music industry; Whitby Abbey, Pipe Organs, Flowers, Polka Dot Cats, Dark Punk, Gothic Novels and Rock n Roll Autobiographies, Castles, Abstract Painting, Euphoria, Mist, Autumn, Halloween, Optical Illusions, Edgar Allan Poe and Andy Warhol.


M. Ward - Migration Of Souls.

M. Ward has revealed plans for his latest album, 'Migration Stories', to be released on 3rd April 2020 via Anti Records. Captivating first track, 'Migration of Souls' is out now.

A prolific writer, producer and performer, M. Ward has established himself as one of modern American music’s most unique and versatile voices. For his tenth album, he journeyed to Quebec, Canada to work with Arcade Fire’s Tim Kingsbury, Richard Reed Parry, producer/mixer Craig Silvey (Arcade Fire, Arctic Monkeys, Florence and the Machine) and Teddy Impakt. Together they recorded a collection of 11 songs inspired by stories of human migration. Languid, hazy and often dream-like in narrative, these songs have their origins in pictures from newspaper and television reports, stories told by friends and tales from Ward’s own family history. At Arcade Fire’s Montreal studios the assembled talents recorded what he describes as “11 largely instrumental ballads - a sci-fi fast forward to a more silent night many generations from here to a maybe-era where movement is free again.”

Says Ward of the stories which informed these songs, “Some time went by, the stories wove together and I remember them now closer to characters in a dream of how people could treat each other than any kind of front-page news realism. I think music subconsciously - whether writing or listening - is a filter for me. Helping to process all the bad news into something new to build from. Some records to me are like self-fulfilling prophecies - visualizing change to wish something into being. Those records inspired this one.”

M. Ward’s music has always felt intricate, intimate and otherworldly. With Migration Stories he breathes beautiful life into vignettes of human flight, blurring the lines between reality and fantasy as it reckons with a world that feels more divided than ever before, even as its inhabitants grow more inextricably linked by the day. With a rich, emotive croon - which Uncut Magazine once likened to “honey drizzled onto a dry creekbed” - he conveys a huge depth of emotion, captured in the studio, almost entirely on the very first take.


Oliver James - The Hardest Part (E.P).

San Diego-based Oliver James creates hushed psych folk pop, falling somewhere between Nick Drake and REM. The singer-songwriter has always been reluctant to follow any trend or singular direction, choosing instead to follow the path of the individual song’s inspiration, rarely treading the same artistic ground twice.

The band was born out a friendship between Oliver and key collaborator Brett Levine, who bonded over red wine, 1970’s television shows and a pervasively satirical optimism. From the start, they have sought out other artists who reflect their creative spirit. Their debut album was recorded at NYC’s Magic Shop with engineer Brian Thorne (responsible for David Bowie’s final albums, Blackstar and The Next Day) and their subsequent releases have all been tracked at San Diego’s Pacific Beat studio with producer Alan Sanderson (Rolling Stones, Weezer, Fleetwood Mac). By 2017 the band was gigging full time as a six piece, replicating their detailed studio productions on stage, while their song streams and video content chalked up tens of thousands of organic streams.

Oliver James’ new EP, The Hardest Part, is a song-cycle about the fragile, darker and uncertain aspects of being in love, and showcases their most haunting, personal and intimate songwriting to date. As Oliver reflects, “As human beings, we’ve all experienced the immense highs and tremendous lows of falling in and out of love. I think these songs speak to all of us.”

The songs are grand in scope and sonic quality, augmented by pedal steel, string orchestra and brass sections. “Good music should give the listener a feeling of belonging and should underscore the good times and sooth the bad times,” James asserts. “And both times are important....Like Brian Eno says, ‘there can be no flowers without fertilizer.”


Thom Sawyr - Help Me Out.

“Help Me Out” is an acknowledgment that we aren’t alone in this world and, in order to overcome life’s adversities and the challenges that humanity faces we need each other.   Together we can make it happen but alone often times it is hopeless.   The goal is that we can find the strength in ourselves to be there for someone else in their time of need.

I remember when I wrote the song I was applying it to so many different experiences I had gone through in my life and wanted to try and make it universally applicable to any challenge that requires a helping hand.  Transcend your fear, love your neighbor and help someone who needs it. -Tasso Smith (Thom Sawyr)

The brainchild of music executive and singer-songwriter Tasso Smith, Thom Sawyr is a project inspired by frustration with the status quo. After touring with bands like Panic! At the Disco, Walk the Moon, and P!nk, Tasso moved into A&R and creative management where he continued to hone his skills as a songwriter. He now presents Thom Sawyr as an illumination of the strife for a meaningful existence. In a time where music has fallen into the shallow depths of materialism and fame, the EP offers perspective on what music should truly represent.


Teeniest - Set Me Up Boys.

Teeniest introduce us to “Set Me Up Boys,” a new song -- about giving up on, and drowning your wounded dreams -- a mercy killing of sorts.

The vibe is distinctive, with unusual instrumentation, including dulcimer and vibraphone. Teeniest are a duo from New York.


Sam Weber - Probably Not.

Acclaimed Canadian singer-songwriter and guitarist, Sam Weber is sharing the new big picture rock’n’roll single, ‘Probably Not’ – this is the latest to be taken from Weber’s third album, Everything Comes True which is set for release in the UK via Sonic Unyon Records on January 10, 2020. Produced by LA-based Tyler Chester (player with Andrew Bird, Joan Baez, Jackson Browne), the new record will be trailed with 2020 UK dates – these to be announced shortly.

Tipping hat to the sprawling guitar sounds of Bruce Springsteen, Alice Coltrane and The Band, ‘Probably Not’ pulls on buzzing riffs and a wanderlust swagger that places itself amidst the vast American landscape, sonically paying testament to the themes of the album. It’s a record well-versed in a road worn wisdom with Weber saying of the new single: “‘Probably Not’ is about driving through the night like one of those fish with the lantern on its head that lives in the deep ocean. You follow the road into the abyss and listen to the radio and thoughts pass through your mind as you drive, contemplating existence, overthinking everything.”

Alongside Weber’s own skill for storytelling and guitar playing, the new album finds the artist borrowing the skills of a heavyweight cast of session players including guitarist, Dylan Day (Jenny Lewis), pedal steel player, Rich Hinman (St Vincent, Cyndi Lauper), guitarist-vocalist, Adam Levy (Tracy Chapman, Norah Jones), trombonist, Elizabeth Lea (Dirty Projectors, Vampire Weekend) and percussionist, Justin Stanley (Prince, Beck, Paul McCartney) amongst a whole host of other names. The stellar roster is further cemented with the Grammy Award-winning engineer, Gavin Lurssen.

Weber, who draws heavily from his experiences travelling across the North American continent, looks to build upon the foundations cast by his recent New Agile Freedom EP, as well as earlier LP releases, Shadows in the Road (2014) and Valentina Nevada (2016). Everything Comes True explores the psychological and physical excursions that come with touring heavily – lyrically and musically painting a vivid narrative of the emotional journeys that come with spending extensive stints away from home, as well as the stories that accumulate.