Speaker Face - Anna Krantz - Carley Arrowood - Rachel Angel - 88/89

Speaker Face just released 'Work Friends' and it's a glorious concoction of instruments, electronics and musical styles . === Anna Krantz shares 'We Could Be High' where refined music, deep digging hooks and timeless ballad vibes naturally come together. === From Carley Arrowood we have some imaginative Americana, superb vocals and refined musicianship in the form of 'Goin' Home Comin' On'. === Rachel Angel has just released her new E.P titled 'Highway Songs'. It's a collection of five tracks, broadly described as country folk, the depth and beauty of this E.P cannot be over stated. === From London we have the duo 88/89 with 'Hit Me' a song that mixes classic synth pop and psychedelic trappings together, along with a mass of catchy moments.

Speaker Face - Work Friends.

Speaker Face is an award winning earthy electronic band that melds the sounds of nature and machines. Combining acoustic instruments, voice and wilderness sounds with computers and synths, Speaker Face creates beats and sonic landscapes that immerse the listener in melody, groove and mood.

The palette of sound created by Trent Freeman’s layers of rhodes and violin, and Eric Wright’s atmospheric production and beats, are topped with the hauntingly honest voice of Ruby Randall.

Whether it’s a star-lit forest dance stage, an acoustically perfect soft seat theatre or the immersion of your headphones, the musical experience of Speaker Face is transportative and fully consuming.

Their latest album, Crescent, is reshaping the notion of genre, and captures the future of indie music within the building blocks of ancient sounds.


Anna Krantz - We Could Be High.

“Listen to your heart this time, come tomorrow we could be high” Anna Krantz. ‘We Could Be High’ was written on a Zoom call during the recent global lockdown. Anna Krantz, like many writers, had her reservations about collaborating over the internet for the first time, yet when all other options become suddenly stripped away, creatives get creative.

She explains, “I couldn’t write about the experience of being separated from my family and friends, in a city I had only recently moved to and had barely begun to call home when the world shut down. I wasn’t ready to tap into those layered and conflicting emotions. I wanted… no, I needed to write a song which gave me hope. A song which lifted my spirits when I sang it.”

Simon Johnson, who also co-produced the song, was the perfect choice to collaborate with on this rootsy foot tapper. He recorded his guitar parts at his home studio in The New Forest, England. Heavily influenced by her years spent in Nashville, Krantz was keen to capture elements of Americana. Though London born and bred she has a penchant for timeless American melodies and has been compared by old friends like Ed Sheeran as sounding as resplendent on record and live, as artists such as Sheryl Crow, Rickie Lee Jones, Carole King and Sara Bareilles.

Now based in Dublin, the gift of modern technology once again presented itself. Krantz contacted Nashville based drummer, Adam Box (Brothers Osborne) and Nashville based keys player, Dave Cohen (Carrie Underwood, Steven Tyler, Reba McEntire) knowing they both had their own private setups to record in. Keeping everything at an acceptable social distance!

She confides, “It felt fun to set ourselves the challenge of making this recording a global effort during a time when no one could be in the same room.”

Krantz recorded her vocals at her new home studio in Southern Ireland. She painted the artwork on a canvas delivered by Amazon and an easel hand crafted by her boyfriend out of scrap wood from the shed because, there was, of course, no way of going out for art supplies.

Mixed by one of Krantz’s go to sound wizards, Richie Biggs (The Civil Wars, The Lone Bellow) at his studio in LA, ‘We Could Be High’ is a song about taking a leap of faith in the hopes of finding the ultimate high. Be it love for another, love for oneself or simply inner calm and connection. Life favours the brave and this song is a reminder to be the bravest version of ourselves, no matter how high the risk.


Carley Arrowood - Goin' Home Comin' On.

Carley Arrowood is on a journey. Already, it’s taken her onto the stage of the Grand Ole Opry with an acclaimed touring act and into a new role as a singer, songwriter and fiddler recording for the Mountain Home label. Now, following the release of her self-penned ballad, “Dear Juliana” and a celtic-flavored gospel original, “Ballad of Calvary,” she’s taking a quick side trip for a little reunion and renewal in her third single, “Goin’ Home Comin’ On.”

Penned by a trio of writers that includes Jenee Fleenor — the reigning Country Music Association Musician of the Year (and the first woman to win the award) — alongside veteran songwriter Charley Stefl (“The Fool,” “All Aboard”) and producer-bassist (and award-winning songwriter) Jon Weisberger, the song is a lively portrait of a young woman homeward bound for a weekend visit.  As Carley explains, she connected immediately with its theme when she heard it.

“The feeling of a ‘Goin’ Home Comin’ On’ is one in a million,” she notes. “You start that long drive, with your suitcase in the back seat (and maybe your fiddle too) and you start thinking about everybody you’re gonna see and all the things you’re gonna do. That’s the story this song tells with its rootsy, cheerful, nostalgic vibe. The first time I heard it there were vivid memories that came to mind.”

Arrowood is joined by a stellar band that includes bluegrass power couple Kristin Scott Benson (banjo) and Wayne Benson (mandolin), guitarist and harmony singer Daniel Thrailkill — and, fittingly, her sister Autumn. “When we were little girls,” Carley recalls, “my sister Autumn and I would run to our dad when he got home from work — racing to see who would get the first hug. So when I heard the line about running to daddy, I immediately knew Autumn had to sing harmony with me on it!”

Yet while she’s surrounded by a strong group of players, Arrowood’s confident performance keeps her expressive, empathetic voice and commanding fiddle work at center stage from the song’s explosive start through its energetic closing refrain. And though it’s filled with the virtuosity and down-home sentiments of bluegrass, “Goin’ Home Comin’ On” has a distinct country flavor in its varied rhythms and unfolding arrangement.

In fact, when you get down to it, to say Arrowood is on a journey may actually be a bit of a misdirection — for judging by the mature, fully-realized quality of her music, Carley Arrowood has already arrived at a place that makes her one of the fastest rising and meaningful female roots music artists today.


Rachel Angel - Highway Songs (E.P).

When Rachel Angel sings “I wanna be a renegade,” she is speaking to the experience of personal transformation and resilience, like putting on a protective coat of armor to meet the world with grace and courage. While the songs on the EP were inspired by the spirit of outlaw country, her sense of the outlaw is metaphorical rather than literal. These songs are about taking the unconventional artists' path and staring in the face of danger, fear, and pain.

On her latest EP Highway Songs, the country-folk troubadour takes the listener on a wild journey—physical, emotional, spiritual, and everywhere in between. These songs were written in the midst of a harrowing time for Angel— she was physically sick with an auto-immune disease, self-quarantined in her Brooklyn apartment, writing at a feverish pace. At the time, She was experiencing a lot of catastrophic anxiety and chronic health problems, feeling both mentally and physically all out of sorts. As she began writing the songs that would become Highway Songs, she embarked on a family trip to Mexico, with the disquieting notion that something bad was going to happen, but couldn’t determine if it was anxiety or a premonition. Within the first week of being there, they experienced a 7.1 earthquake in Mexico City—buildings around them fell, power lines went down, and everything closed. But despite feeling frightened and immediately wanting to leave, Angel decided that pushing through the discomfort would ultimately build strength.

After her harrowing experience in Mexico, Angel spent the remainder of the year touring different cities on the east coast, in the UK, and traveling around for various events and building a new sense of resilience. She was listening to a lot of outlaw country, the spirit of which filled her with a feeling of vibrancy and bravery. She finished writing and recording the content of “Highway Songs” during a breaking point and crisis period in her life, right before making her way to the other side. Angel ultimately left New York City for her hometown of Miami in need of great healing and has since been on a spiritual journey, grounding herself and writing more music to heal and nourish herself and her listeners.


88/89 - Hit Me.

Hailing from London, Jack (born in 88) and Michael (born in 89) began carving out a space between synth-pop and psychedelic rock creating a sonic landscape with no boundaries.

The duo deliver a nostalgic and psychedelic single capturing the high points of being in love. Vocally the track is evocative of bands like The Temper Trap, while the soundscape of synths and guitars are resonant with 80s neo-psychedelia and modern synth-pop bands like MGMT.

88/89 is a hybrid of synths, guitar riffs and sentimentalism. Formed in London, Jack and Michael are carving out a space between synth-pop and psychedelic rock creating a sonic landscape with no boundaries.

Jack and Michael met when both of them were trying to start again creatively - Jack after leaving Sissy and the Blisters and Michael after putting his acting career behind. Jack played some of his music to Michael in a car and then they only grew from there. They quickly realised that they are like Ginger Rogers & Fred Astaire, yin and yang.