Nigel Wearne ft Lauren Housley - Welcome to the 21st! - That Old Quiet Lighthouse - Astro Yeti
Nigel Wearne ft Lauren Housley - To The Edge.
Ominous, poignant and mysterious; To The Edge is a potent lament of fate gone wrong. Two lovers by the riverside grappling with truth; that irrevocable moment when the past cannot be undone and everything changes. Why was the timing so wrong? “We needed truth / But now there ain’t time to heal”.
Wearne’s lush Gretsch guitar swathed with spooky Hammond organ, drums and double bass set the scene. Morricone-esque horns tug at the heartstrings, as Wearne and Housley croon and cast shadows across the tale in all its mystery. A soulful, minor-key slow-burn that skirts the fringes of jazz and 60s rock ‘n’ roll.
It was early 2019 in the bustling Arts Café in Montreal, Canada. Nigel and Lauren were both in town to showcase at Folk Alliance International and found themselves on camera as part of a documentary on theconference. Instantly hitting it off, they spoke about the future of folk music and their mutual admiration of John Prine, all the while sharing their dry wit. After reconnecting in New Orleans in early 2020, they got to work during the pandemic and the rest is in the tape-reel.
Welcome to the 21st! - Dyatlov Pass (Album).
As concept albums go this one is something very special. The subject matter is well chosen and intriguing to say the least, however it's the musical compositions and fabulous arrangements that really grabbed our attention. We will let the band fill you in on the rest.
Dyatlov Pass is an 8-song historical concept album by Welcome to the 21st! about the mysterious fate of eight college-age students and their guide who died while on a winter trek in the USSR's Ural Mountains in February 1959. The students were found over time after they disappeared, with varying injuries, and no one knows exactly what happened. It remains an open inquiry to this day. The theories as to what happened include an avalanche, a military test gone awry, and some even believe a malevolent supernatural intervention.
The album follows the 20-something nature travelers from meeting up before they left (Hang on to Yourself - Song 1), to the early part of their voyage through a peaceful winter environment (Sing to the Moon - Song 4), with hints of warnings along the way (Warning Signs - Song 3).
The middle of the album tracks the group’s eventual demise near a frozen mountain pass (Dyaltov Pass - Song 5 and Lost but Found - Song 6), to the search and recovery teams that looked for them (Boots in the Rain - Song 7) and who have sought for years to determine what actually happened (Misleading Clues - Song 8).
The album was written and conceived of by Bob Blumenfeld (Guitars, from Texas, US) and Touanda (Vocals, from Manchester, UK), who met online through AirGigs. The rest of the instrumentation was mainly performed by, and mixed and produced by, John Dufilho a multi-instrumentalist, drummer, and long-time established indie music producer from Dallas, Texas. Bob’s other bands include The Disappearing Act and Lowdog. John is best known for his work with his band Deathray Davies.
======================================================================That Old Quiet Lighthouse - Decade.
That Old Quiet Lighthouse are as much a familiar sound as they are distinctly unique - a statement only decipherable by listening to their debut EP “Dubious Beginnings”. Genre-wise, the most concise they could be after hours of intense deliberating was ‘Indie-singer-songwriter-math-folk’.
Big Thief, American Football, Fleet Foxes, all inspirations you’ll no doubt hear as they hit you right in the feels, lovers of the bittersweet so they are. Lead singer/bassist Ashley Garrod channels the keen insight of Pinegrove’s lyricism, balancing from-the-heart melodies with passionately intricate bass lines. Gabe, as the rhythmically tight, emotive backbone of their alternative sound, sits comfortably beneath the expressive and varied textures crafted by guitarist James Cooke.
Never ones to be satisfied, TOQL have a plethora of talented and unique musicians they constantly feature on tracks. Virtuosic jazz tenor horn player Nat Martin, to synth/violin mastermind Pip Rousiamanis, as well as cellists, flautists & singers who all front their own projects. ‘Decade’ is a somewhat-chaotic take on a ‘last goodbye’ kind of love song, penned in the first couple of months of lockdown. “Like many of us, I had had all of my work disappear over-night, and in the midst of the despair and the uncertainty I had turned to the bittersweet comfort blanket of reminiscing over my last relationship.”, says TOQL frontman Ashley Garrod.
“To me it represents both a coping mechanism for that time period, and a big leap forward in terms of our sound and identity. It’s as of yet the most experimental tune I’ve written”, he reveals. With ‘Decade’s’ spoken word delivery and hypnotic textures, That Old Quiet Lighthouse seek to strike a balance between outrageous and satisfyingly audible. A boundary-pushing cathartic track, ‘Decade’ aims to help soundtrack people’s lives and put memories into a new perspective.
======================================================================Astro Yeti - Box Wine.
Blending elements of funk, ska, and psychedelic-rock, new Conch Town Record signing AstroYeti return with their new single ‘Box Wine’, the third release to be taken from their upcoming debut album ‘Gnarly Gumlie’s Voodoo Van’.
The Key West trio’s latest offering is another punchy example of the bands lyrical wit and impeccable musical talents, this time flexing their versatility with a slow, dub and reggae infused heavy groove, self-diagnosed as "Tropical Space Funk". Vocalist and guitarist in the band, Mike King shares: “Box wine is a song about chasing your dreams no matter how hard the path might seem and feeling the weight and power of responsibility to actualize those dreams."
Blending tight offbeat rhythms with layers of choppy, bright guitar lines, funky bass, splashes of organ and splashes of dub delay, the band once again create a track full of all the fun, energy and flair the band have become known for, both on their local live scene as well as across press and radio internationally. Topped with strikingly charismatic, husky, stylistic lead vocal, the track gradually builds its way to a fuzz drenched, gut busting guitar solo and explosive, euphoric climax.
Describing themselves as “a secret society of Space-Caper solving time crime fighters”, AstroYeti’s unique blend of trippy island rock tinged spacefunk is perfectly matched with their out of this world image - a band of colorful miscreant universal explorers making joyous music with bags of energy and musical depth.