Category Archives: Indie Blues

Eléa Calvet ‘Trigger’

Following up from her electrifying debut single Lust, French Canadian artist Eléa Calvet has released her second single ‘Trigger’.19-year-old Eléa Calvet taps into music’s emotive foundations with elements of Tom Waits & Patti Smith reminiscent in her lyrical style. Born in Canada and raised in India, Elea has since settled in the UK and is set on becoming one of the most prolific alternative artists on the independent scene today.

‘Trigger’ is a sass smothered bluesy rock track drenched in dark gritty bewitching swagger. The track creeps in with a menacing subtle guitar accompaniment while Calvet whispers a cooing enticing vocal. The track builds becoming more blood curdling as she wails over a sensual bass and punchy drum combination. The elegance of the cello and piano add a swing and graceful seduction to the muggy entrapment. It’s a chilling sultry hair-raising cobweb and Calvet is the black widow luring you further and further into her sticky trap. This song possesses a classic timeless sense of grandeur and peril all at once. An enthralling and gripping track from Eléa Calvet.

Stream ‘Trigger’ below


The Small Change Diaries ‘Lullabies for Cynics’ Album

After forming back in 2014 and since releasing both a debut album and EP, The Small Change Diaries are all set to release their second album ‘Lullabies for Cynics’, which will be available from 3rd November. The release will be celebrated with a launch gig set to take place at Sunny Bank Mills on its release date. Their debut album ‘Adam Blames Eve’ received critical acclaim from the likes of BBC Introducing and thus far, the tracks ‘Huggie Crying Thing’ and ‘I Know What You’re Saying’ from the new album have been played on BBC Introducing Leeds, giving them a promising start. With a rich variation of instruments, The Small Change Diaries create poetic, acoustic songs with thought provoking lyrics and a heartfelt delivery. Similar to their previous EP ‘Protest Songs’, their latest album ‘Lullabies for Cynics’ was inspired by world events in the past 18 months. Described by the collective themselves as ‘music for the head and heart’, various tracks touch on specific affairs such as the Paris attack and changes in US politics, leaving the listener with a lot to think about. The album also features some stellar international musicians, including Laurent Zeller from France, and Phil Doleman, both who have decades of musical experience. It was recorded over a 12 month period and has been a labour of love for the 4-piece.

At first glance ‘Lullabies for Cynics’ has a warm fuzzy glow that maybe we all need sometimes. From the title track ‘Hold On’ this four piece sweep us with a deluge of lush rich instrumentation emitting bright radiant vibes and warm tones. Opulent sweet melodies teamed with beautiful harmonies and bouncy light rhythms create a boppy sound that wraps you up in a cosy blanket shielding you from the harshness of the world. I don’t think you can get a more glowing peppy track than ‘Huggy Cryin’ Thing’. It’s light, catchy, warm and soothing. Oozing oodles of cheery vibes. I’m usually the cynical person and for sure not a morning person but I think if I was a morning person i’d wake up singing this song while the sun shone on me and the birds tweeted. It sets the scene for cheery perfect idealism. It has a sweet quality to cheer anyone up. ‘I Know What Your’re Saying’ with its foot tapping tone and  ‘Kicking Down Doors’ with its guitar twangs, jagged tempo and waltz injections take a slower melancholic tone. They are a little more sombre and honest. With tracks like the sparkling  ‘Not One Of Us’ and the darker swing of ‘Voodood Doll (feat.Phil Doleman)’ it’s like this four piece create their own little world which has a soft positive first impression but dig a little deeper and it’s a little more dark. Gently shaking percussion and snug strings create a cosy atmosphere though the lyrics are a lot more striking and harsh than the dreamy instrumental illusion. The four piece take their hand to blues with ‘Slow News Day’. Drenched in lazy hazy vibes with sublime bluesy drizzled horns and stroke tap beat it has a classy curvy easy going tempo with a murky story behind it. ‘Lullaby’ closes the album on a soothing note. Basically they sing us a lullaby before adding a bright refreshing little wake up burst about 1 minute and 30 seconds in. It sparkles and glows with pacifying gentleness and hopefulness.

‘Lullabies for Cynics’ is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. The Small Change Diaries create a peppy fantasy world with folk, blues, gospel-style arrangements all while conveying the candied truth through their politically challenging lyrics. At a first listen it’s just camp fire sway ready lollipops and rainbows tunes but at the root there is depth there. Perhaps candy coating the harshness for us a little.

After performing at both UK and overseas festivals over the duration of the summer, The Small Change Diaries are now ready to settle back in the UK to promote their album, starting with their album launch gig on 3rd November 2017 at Sunny Bank Mills. Information about further upcoming live dates can be found on their social media pages here

Watch the video for the track  ‘Birdman’ below


Glassmaps ‘Summer Rain’

Glassmaps is the solo project of Joel Stein, lead guitarist in the much-loved Howling Bells. After four successful albums with the band, the UK-based Australian has brought his worldwide touring and recording experience to this exciting new endeavour. ‘Summer Rain’ is the first release from Glassmaps’ upcoming ‘Strangely Addicted’ LP which is to be released on Lost In The Manor Records later in the year. The LP was honed in Las Vegas, at the home studio of The Killers’ bassist Mark Stoermer, where Joel was staying while recording with Howling Bells.
‘Summer Rain’ is a swoony crooning blues tinted track brewed and entangled in hazy psychedelia. Driven by a blues rock stomp this track exudes and bleeds lazy laid back swagger. Dragging blurry delusions with sunny psych harmonics it’s a weary search for a resolution for ones own problems. The sharp twanging guitar freshens up the lethargic dreamy staggering soundscape. Stein’s raspy swooping vocals add a drowsy narcotic effect to this hypnotic sweltering track. Stuffy and muggy this track evokes images of humid days it almost suffocates you in its delusional trip. Catchy and hypnotic ‘Summer Rain’ is almost soothing and sedating while holding an air of seduction and confusion.

Stream ‘Summer Rain’ below


Aja Volkman ‘Sandy’ Album Review

Aja Volkman, the former female front for the LA rock-trio Nico Vega, has announced her long awaited solo debut with the release of her debut album ‘Sandy’. Featuring the lead single ‘My Man’, the album will be available to download on all major media providers from May 19th. Born and raised in Oregon, Aja Volkman began her musical career at a young age and it quickly progressed into a prodigious talent. Volkman’s musical career opened up after she joined forces with War Paint front woman Emily Kohal and for the first time in the public sphere, she unleashed a provocative vocal that would soon define her career. Her foray into the music world continued in 2004 when she forged the successful LA rock trio Nico Vega. After teaming up with Linda Perry (Gwen Stefani, Pink, Christina Aguilera), Nico Vega released their first full-length album in 2009, which received critical acclaim. In 2015 Nico Vega continued to gain popularity after landing an opening slot for Imagine Dragons and now after a short hiatus, Aja Volkman announces her return to music with her debut solo album ‘Sandy’.
‘Sandy’ is a cosy intimate album immersed in beautiful heartfelt delicate tones with country twangs drizzled on top to add a speckle of fun and vibrancy to the album. Dripping in vintage bluesy soul the album displays a sophisticated sound with rich depth and satisfying textures. ‘My Man’ kicks off the album setting a 50’s or 60’s romantic sway-like scene. Elegant and graceful it glides like a fairy tale waltz. The soft instrumentation and sweet lulling backing “sha la la” vocals create a dreamy swoony affectionate flow and glide to this beautiful track. Volkman’s honey soaked vocals coo the luscious melody creating the perfect soothing fanciful scene to blissfully loose yourself  in. This track is irresistibly smooth and velvety as it oozes and seeps idyllic romance. Volkman follows this with track after track featuring  sweet gentle lusciously rich textures. ‘Bother Me’ brings warm country twangs to the candied delicious sound. While ‘Nobody’ adds a bounce and vibrancy with a sassy attitude. The album is speckled with jazzy piano elements in tracks such as ‘Deep Love’ and mysterious steamy tones in ‘Skeletons’ all while maintaining an exquisite knack for ear worm melodies. ‘Sandy’ winds down to a graceful, tender almost peaceful end with ‘Cracked’. Volkman has created a collection of heartfelt eloquent tracks that display her classy elegant and affluent musicianship.
Aja Volkman recorded the album with singer-songwriter Joshua James in Utah and it has taken over a year to put together. ‘Sandy’ is out May 19th and you can get her brand new single ‘My Man’ as an instant download when you pre-order the album from April 28th.
Stream ‘My Man’ below


Mad Alice ‘Idee Fixe’.

Liverpool-based trio Mad Alice have released their new single ‘Idee Fixe’. The band have recently been long-listed for Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition, featured as Louder Than War’s “New Band of the Day” and featured as “one of Liverpool’s finest emerging acts” by popular fashion / culture trendsetters Missguided. Band members Caitlin Hare (Vocals and Bass Guitar), Ryan Lavery (Guitar) and Kraig Shaw (Drums) have created their own brand of dark bone- crushing rock with bluesy soul searching flavours.
‘Idee Fixe’ is grubby down and dirty rock smudged in god fearing bluesy soul. Its feverishly thrilling with sharp piercing guitar, groovy elastic bass and smashing punchy drums. Sensually smooth with cool swagger, seeping and dripping from every note, its an unadulterated step into Mad Alice’s crunching dark rock. With hints of psychedelia wisping around adding a trippy narcotic feel, this track has it all to keep you completely engulfed. Strong dominating vocals add a raspy luring almost eerie quality which is spine chillingly good. Mad Alice are ones to watch out for.
Watch the video for ‘Idee Fixe’ below


Worth A Listen

Our Worth A Listen Track This Week Comes From Rollin’ Empire

Rollin’ Empire are a modern Irish rock and roll trio. The group consists of members Stephen McGurrin (songwriter, vocals and guitar), Callum Condron (songwriter, bass guitar, keyboards and vocals) and Thomas Campbell (percussion, vocals). Their mission is to lead their fans on a compelling journey where rock reigns supreme. Their energetic and passionate live performances are both lively and infectious, leaving fans demanding more and more.
Rollin’ Empire have released their new single ‘Nothing to Lose’ which is the third single from their debut album ‘Nowhere to Run’ which was released last November. The song, which is about taking a gamble and never giving up no matter what the odds, gives you all the dirty bluesy grit that you would expect with the added sprinkle of shimmying keyboards. This riff- heavy relentless track erupts with a fierce buzz filled riff and pounding rapid beat and bass that displays a slinky sensual flexibility giving the track smooth cool swagger. Strutting through the rubbery bounce of the verse with gritty brawny vocal attitude and hair raising panache, The synth infused chorus takes us to their brand of catchy rock fused with a pop element. Harmonised vocals freshens the track up giving a breather before the infectious burly beefy  riff re enters.
Stream ‘Nothing to Lose’ below

Val Cale ‘Two People In The Dark’

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Val Cale are a Garage Blues band from Leeds. The band consists of members Tom Lister (Lead Vocals / Lead Guitar), Henry Smith (Rhythm Guitar / Backing Vocals), Shafiq Dufrene (Bass Guitar / Keys / Backing Vocals) and Sam Hamer (Drums / Backing Vocals). The band has quickly made progress through the Leeds city gig scene, and is gaining a reputation for enthralling, atmospheric and groovy live performances. They claim their music is “capable of reducing the listeners mind to the creamy texture of a head of stout” and they are absolutely right.
‘Two People In The Dark’ gives us a taste of what we can expect from their upcoming debut EP ‘Blackstuff’ which is set for release this September. Its a deep dark swirling concoction of gritty blues and rock with a dash of psychedelia. ‘Two People In The Dark’ introduces itself with a massive attention grabbing dirty blues riff. The track becomes more sensual and luring with an elastic bass that adds an enticing lustful quality and burning desire feel to the track. While Lister’s vocals are raspy and emotion filled adding to the longing tone. The drums keep a flexible tempting beat that teases the listener as we wait for the massive crescendo. The shredding guitar solo adds that touch of psychedelia as it screeches with powerful distortion and is performed with slick proficient and nimble skill.
‘Two People In The Dark’ shows Val Cale’s skillful musicianship, looking forward to their EP.
These guys are ones to watch.
Stream ‘Two People In The Dark’ below

Live Music Review Of New Valley Wolves supported by Ghost Robots

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As a music venue Cork’s Crane Lane has a lot to offer, its fantastic decor and laid back atmosphere has everything you need to enjoy a night out with live music. We made our way through the crowds to the room set towards the back of the lane where New Valley Wolves were due to perform with Ghost Robots as support. One look at the bustling cheery crowd tells you that they are rockers which puts me at ease as I find rock crowds are the best to get along with, they are there for the music and to enjoy themselves.

Ghost Robots begin with their utterly absorbing set full of catchy riffs, flexible rhythms and smooth vocals. The alternative rock band from Waterford lead you gently through their psych trip setlist starting with ‘Richer Than kings’ they pull you in to a mysterious20160730_215234_001 swirl, driven by punchy drums and dynamic guitars while Doyle’s vocals keep things fresh and edgy. Ghost Robots keep the tracks flowing fluently as they belt out tune after tune oiling up the rusty hips of the crowd as they sway and mosh to each track. Drummer Dael O’Brien is especially enthusiastic and stands out with his energetic mesmerising drumming. They ease us into their insanely catchy ‘Under Fire’ which recently featured as one of our Worth A Listen tracks. This luring song goes down well with the entranced crowd as they move to the beat while the tracks effortless cool tone has a dazed effect while still packing a punch. Ghost Robots finish on ‘Bad Habbit‘ leaving the stunned crowd wanting more.

New Valley Wolves take the stage and spark pandemonium and chaos with their opening track ‘Shake Your Bones’ as they blast us with track after track of brawl-like powerful drums and gritty kick ass riffs. With instrumental tracks like ‘Acid Ocean’ showcasing their20160730_223558 monstrous frenzy-causing sound that will rock you to your core and persuade even the most timid person to rebel and headbang. New Valley Wolves as promised give us an energetic and memorable show as they dominate Crane Lane with the forceful and staggering ‘This Bad City’ and ‘Shark’. They exude swagger and fiery attitude in ‘Athens’ as they give us a smooth sensual almost funky track that builds into a moshing riot. The rock duo confirm they are a force to be reckoned with, when they pull out the masterstroke that is new soon to be released single ‘Silver Tongue’ knocking us back and demanding the attention that these guys deserve. Lucey coaxes the crowd forward and they begin a frenzy of moshing to the powerful bluesy ‘Eyes On Me’. Members of the crowd shout out the fast passed rap-like swagger-filled lyrics accompanied by the slick fiery riffs teamed with pounding soul shaking drums. They finish strong with ‘Fire In The Blood’ followed by new single ‘Trouble’ two hefty, mean tracks bursting with attitude. While ‘Fire In The Blood’ had a rapid tempo that raced through the crowd causing a chaotic mix of moshing and  hopping,  ‘Trouble’ took on a destructive persona keeping the crowd headbanging and going crazy in its high energy body pounding sound leaving the crowd thirsty for more.

New Valley Wolves are getting bigger and better, a force of nature coming into their prime.

Watch Our Interview With New Valley Wolves below

 

Worth A Listen

Our Worth A Listen Track this week comes from Ethan & The Reformation

Manchester’s Psychedelic Rock/Pop band Ethan & The Reformation have decided to release their track ‘Hollandia’ as it is going to be used on a TV advert. As I’m sure you know by now we at Indie Buddie are becoming big fans of Ethan & The Reformation as they have constantly impressed us with every tune they have been throwing at us. So naturally we decided to make ‘Hollandia’ our Worth A Listen Track this week.
‘Hollandia’ is a Psychedelic gritty blues rock track with a slick dirty bass riff that sticks in your head. The steady bendable beat gives a hypnotic effect that lures you into the track. While the zesty psychedelic guitar plays a light melody that swirls in your head giving an intoxicated effect. The vocals are raspy and gritty which adds a brawny quality to the verse. The chorus is lyrically simple and repetitive and sung in the higher range of vocals, this adds to the hypnotic effect and makes this track unforgettable.
Another fantastic track form Ethan & The Reformation you can buy ‘Hollandia’ now on iTunes via their own label, Bohemian Sex Club.
Stream ‘Hollandia’ below

Jackie Venson ‘Next Life’

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Jackie Venson is an Indie Blues artist from Austin, TX. She has released her video for her new single, “Next Life.” The track is about Unrequited love which is a universal theme and is easy to relate to.
‘Next Life’ begins as a gentle melodic track with soft instrumentation and steady piano that holds a strong foundation for the track. Venson’s vocals are strident and strong. This track has a laid back atmosphere and a cool calm vibe. The track is a slow burner that gradually builds to a fiery guitar solo and abrupt end. The track is presented in a precise manner, and every note and strum has its place but blends well forming a melodic track that shows superb musicianship.
Watch , ‘Next Life’ below.