Category Archives: Singer/Songwriter

Nicola Hardman ‘Just Human’ and ‘Little Fish’

After the successful release of her debut album ‘Full Beans’ back in December 2015, alternative singer-songwriter Nicola Hardman has announced details of her latest double single release comprising of tracks ‘Just Human’ and ‘Little Fish’. Throughout 2016, Nicola Hardman performed across the UK, appearing on radio shows and achieving number 2 in the top 20 chart of Round Sound Radio for her single ‘Little Fish’. She then went on to appear on Made in Liverpool TV and perform at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall alongside the likes of Ian Prowse ,Tom Hingley (Inspiral Carpets) and John Bramwell (I Am Kloot). Later in 2017, Hardman  was noted for her “kooky avant-garde-ness … her assured voice recalling Regina Spektor or Amanda Palmer at time” by Get Into This for her performance in Liverpool’s Threshold Festival. Based in Liverpool, Hardman is notorious for her theatrical vocals and catchy piano hooks. Not only does the musical content of her material draw people in, but the lyrical content of each song is captivating – discussing both personal and political issues in a way that speaks to many.

‘Just Human’ flurries in with a rushing menacing defined piano feature. It’s an intense swirl of emotion, the instrumentation whirls around a strong chord progression while Hardman continues to fascinate with her enduring vocals that wrap the listener up in a velvet soothing blanket. At times her vocals become sharp and ominous lying in the background with an almost harrowing screaming growl. The music remains fairly light and floaty with dark churning undertones creating a wholly chilling experience.

‘Little Fish’ is a theatrical bouncy swirly eerie track. With animated keys playfully hopping with an elastic mischievous rebound. The track wriggles and hauntingly sways like a spirited ghostly waltz attended by wicked creatures on Halloween, yet it holds an air of solitary loneliness. Evoking images of grandeur and fine dresses swishing in time with the free slowing swing and strong spin of the chords on keys. Hardman’s vocals exude emotion and drama with operatic high-pitched ornamentation lifting each note at the end of certain lines adding a vibrant spring and boost to the track. It’s enticing and tempting with both a spine chilling and joyous vibe. It’s absolutely thrilling. Love it.

Drawing from an eclectic range of influences, including the likes of System Of A Down, Bjork and Incubus, Nicola Hardman presents tracks that are both distinctive and charming. The double header single is set to be released on all digital platforms on 14th October 2017 after her single launch gig held at Studio 2, Parr Street, Liverpool on 13th October. More information about Nicola and any of her upcoming live shows can be found on her social media channels here https://www.facebook.com/nicolahardmanmusic

You can catch Nicola Hardman live at:

Fri 13th Oct – Liverpool – Studio 2 Parr Street

Sat 21st Oct – Northwich – House of Quirk

Friday 1st December – Liverpool – The Epstein Theatre

Sat 2nd Dec – London – Maddens East Finchlay

Stream ‘Just Human’ and ‘Little Fish’ below


Ben Bateman ’Make Believe’

Ben Bateman is a singer/songwriter from the northeast of UK. He began playing guitar at the age of ten and writing songs at thirteen. He traveled to New Zealand at the age of 17 to perform music and develop his live performance skills, which he brought back to the UK shortly after and began performing at all the folk clubs in the north east. He has recently released his new single ’Make Believe’. Acoustically based it’s a sweet gentle track that warms the cockles of your heart. Feathery light plucked guitar adds a nice little bounce and elasticity while soft percussion fills out the sound creating an uplifting peppy vibe. Reminiscent of a simple barn or pub dance from The Shire (Lord Of The Rings reference) it’s swoony and swishy while having a hop and skip liveliness. Wholesome and pure ’Make Believe’ is quite the joy to listen to and raised my spirits on a very dull morning.

Stream ’Make Believe’ below


Kev Howell ‘Haunting Ambition’ Album

Glasgow based singer-songwriter Kev Howell has recently released his debut album, ‘Haunting Ambition’. After beginning writing original material back in 2014 with an old 8-track machine, some Cubase software, and a lot of ambition and talent, Howell has come a long way. Over the past 3 years, he has grown a solid and dedicated fanbase and gained support slots for the likes of Ben Ottewell and Bill Ryder-Jones. Inspired by the likes of The Beatles, Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, ‘Haunting Ambition’ boasts nine alternative rock tracks, driven by melodic guitar chords and a haunting and distinctive vocal line.

‘Haunting Ambition’ is a swirling dark concoction of alternative soft rock churning and coiling in a sixties psychedelic dissolving fermentation. Smooth and crooney ‘Distance’ sets the mood of the album. The underlying groovy hints present itself through the bouncy rhythm while spooky spine chilling soundscapes wisp around haunting vocals. The smooth melody is delicate,soft and almost fragile while sharp guitars sting with a stabbing shrill creating a goosebump inducing thrilling listen. The shadowy narcotically hazy ‘Kamikaze’ follows. Vaporous and smouldering this sultry track exudes eerie tantalising mystery wrapped in a psychedelic rock mirage. There is definitely a Beatles-eque vibe in the song maybe it’s something about Howell’s soothing McCartney-like smooth vocals or the melty melody smothered in dark creeping sixties psychedelia. Each track flows fluidly into the next bringing you further into Howell’s cloudy dream state. ‘Ode to an Angel’ lightens the mood and tone of the album. Gentle, sweet and delicate with soft accompaniment it’s heavenly and calm. Warm guitar twangs twinkle in and out of the lush emotional vocal melody while glistening soundscapes add a heartfelt sprinkle of affection. It’s an elegant mood shifter. Each track is well layered yet arranged meticulously in such a way so each note, each pluck and strum makes its own impact and striking imprint on your soul. With this album when it’s swoony and dreamy it’s divine but Howell knows exactly when to break that up and add a wobbly mirage of sharp guitar stings. Each song tells an absorbing story which pulls you right into the depths of the track creating a wholly engulfing experience. ‘Nightbird’ brings a shimmy dance quality with an impressive array of instrumentation from banjo twangs to electric and acoustic guitar intertwined with electronic soundscapes. It’s infectiously boppy and very catchy. ‘Grave Lament’ is just simply beautiful and mesmerising. Howell gives you just under a minute and a half of this blissfully sweet relaxing track. Warm guitar takes you to a dreamy island paradise while a gentle snapping beat soothes your mind. It’s mind melting soul fulfilling and oh so good. With velvety vocals caressing a creamy melody it’s like he takes away all your worries and for a brief moment you are in Utopia. ‘Snipers Blues’ closes the album off with a gritty punch of blues rock. Dirty riffs drive the track while kinetic drums bounce and pound with ferocious energy. It’s effortlessly cool, swagger driven and ballsy while also holding an air of breezy laid back attitude. Sultry and eerie with sharp guitar wails it’s a dramatic memorable end to the album.

Kev Howell’s ‘Haunting Ambition’ album blends the brawny fiery punch of rock with sublime smoky poetry and sensual steamy psychedelia, showcasing his refined and proficient musicianship. It’s an album you can put on and will listen to all the way through finding new intricate details each time. He leaves space for thought and contemplation while still layering and weaving fine textures and sublime melodies. An impressive debut.

Watch the video for ‘Kamikaze’ below

 


Miles Horn ‘Stranded In Emotions’

Singer songwriter Miles Horn has released his new single ‘Stranded In Emotions’.Born and raised in South West London Horn has won support from BBC Introducing in Oxford and has had features from credible tastemakers at Bittersweet Symphonies and Independent Clauses. ‘Stranded in Emotions’ displays Horn’s slick contemporary blend of soul rock and synth pop. The track is funky with an effortlessly cool groove and swagger. Its dark longing verses are drenched in sultry tones. Sharp guitar licks add a seductive steamy whine while a steady shimmy beat and sweet backing vocals give an almost disco effect. It’s catchy and richly layered with intricate warm guitar melodies interweaving playfully between Horns deep vocals. Smothered in sensual sleekness and yearning it’s a confident little dazzler that is vaporous and humid yet ridiculously groovy and infectious.

You can catch Miles Horn performing a headline show at the iconic Servant Jazz Quarters in Dalston on September 13th as well as an extensive London tour in the Autumn.

Stream ‘Stranded In Emotions’ below

 

 


James Ghareeb ‘Do It With Luv’

Singer-songwriter James Ghareeb has announced the release of his new single ‘Do It With Luv’ from his forthcoming EP available later this year. Ghareeb first found success after becoming a social media breakout star through his Vine videos. He started making short clips covering the likes of Justin Bieber, surpassing over 6 million views along the way.  In 2015 James recorded his first EP ‘Hanging From The Stars’ which debuted at number 4 on the iTunes chart upon release. During that time, the Lebanese American, caught the attention of critically acclaimed produced Tony Ghantous (Kris Allen, Disney), who quickly began work on Ghareeb’s sophomore release.

 ‘Do It With Luv’ is a crisp fresh sun soaked tune that radiates laid back vibes and good times. Laced in tropical rhythms with rock pop elements and an infectious delicious melody it’s slick cool and oh so catchy. Sharp zests of guitar squirts between rich clap along rhythms and velvety vocals. Lush backing vocals “woo” adding colour and vibrancy. The track cruises with mellow easy-going euphoria and elastic bounce. It’s breezy sun kissed and mind numbingly dreamy all while packing some nice perky stabs of R&B and soul. Tightly wrapped in intricate sleek production and fine musicianship this track rolls in on a wave of carefree bliss. I’ll look forward to hearing more from James Ghareeb

Stream ‘Do It With Luv’ below


Danny Wright ‘Is This Rock and Roll?’

London based Danny Wright is a self-taught, self-made singer, guitarist, songwriter and actor who rarely fits neatly into one stereotypical box. A former frontman of touring rock bands DissolvedIN and We Are Lost Boys, he played all over the world, performed at Download festival and enjoyed press acclaim from Kerrang! magazine. Now a solo artist he has a clutch of pop- influenced and intensely personal new songs to unveil. Helmed by You Me At Six/Lower Than Atlantis producer John Mitchell, he has released his new single ‘Is This Rock and Roll?’.

‘Is This Rock and Roll?’ is a melodic, warm heartfelt track. With the springy bounce of acoustic guitar and whispered backing vocals, it’s a tender yet bright take on a lyrically striking and potentially sad song. Wright’s vocals soothe with a slight raspy quality adding an emotional gritty texture. Though the tracks theme is melancholic it remains peppy and bright. It’s hopeful, optimistic and  full of bouncy little bursts of sunshine. With a catchy sweet melody and wiggle along beat Wright presents an honest pure tune that radiates golden warmth and cosy comfort.

When asked about the track Wright said “I wrote this song during a period in my life when I thought about giving up pursing music as a career, the song talks about the sacrifices i’ve made to ‘follow my dreams’ which have ultimately led to isolation and feeling lost”

Stream ‘Is This Rock and Roll?’ below


Mike Paterson ‘Loose Change’

Indie Folk singer songwriter Mike Paterson has released his new single ‘Loose Change’. Originally the frontman of the rock group Travis Oaks. Paterson toured Ireland and abroad, playing venues such as The Olympia in Dublin, to the prestigious Dublin Castle in London. Travis Oaks developed a solid reputation for energetic shows, but focusing on solid songwriting, along with performance. Since departing from the band in the Summer of 2016, Paterson has been hiding out in his native county of Cavan, contemplating his role in the music scene. He has taken a stripped back approach to live shows, with live recordings and videos taking priority over studio recordings. His new single is also a live recording from Displace Studios.

‘Loose Change’ is a warm melodic sweet toned passionate track. Peeled back to a bare simple arrangement with just acoustic guitar accompaniment, its organic and wholesome. Paterson’s vocal display is rich with depth and sharp lush highs, there is no need for fuss. Laid back and soothing it’s perfect for summers evenings with a  glass of wine, sunset and relaxation. It’s peppy with a nice bounce keeping the mellow tone without becoming sluggish. Patterson has a knack for creating songs that evoke every emotion in the listener and this mellow little ditty doesn’t stray from that emotional connection. Instantly balmy and calm his simplicity is just heaven. With a honey glazed melody ‘Loose Change’ gives a sense of blissful peace and modest purity. It’s honest, nourishing goodness and quite the breath of fresh air.

Mike Paterson has a few shows coming up the first is in Spirit Store, Dundalk tonight then Whelan’s Dublin on the 25th and Workman’s Club Dublin on the 14th of September, make sure to head down and check him out. I had the pleasure of catching him live a little while ago and he’s one not to be missed.

When asked about the track Paterson told us “Loose Change is dedicated to my friends, with the track focusing on the importance of friendship and knowing we have someone there when times are tough.”

Watch his live performance of ‘Loose Change’ at Displace Studios below


Charlie Millikin ‘All These Things’

Ohio soulful singer-songwriter Charlie Millikin has recently released his newest single ‘All These Things’. Being born into a family of musicians, singers and songwriters, it was only natural that Charlie grew a strong passion for music and after being inspired by the likes of Ed Sheeran, Gavin DeGraw and Eminem, Charlie chose to put his focus on his songwriting talent. ‘All These Things’ is written about the feeling of waking up every day under the weight of a combination of these mental illnesses and continuing to live with it rather than working towards getting better because of becoming comfortable with the feeling in a paradoxical sense.

‘All These Things’ is a sweet feathery light little ditty. This easy listen track displays Millikin’s warm smooth soulful vocals which soothes and adds a tone of positivity to the lyrical theme of the perils of anxiety and depression. A bouncy beat, honey soaked melody, sing along infectious chorus and bright tones add a sun kissed vibrancy and heart-warming vibe. This heartfelt track reaches out and speaks to everyone, its deeply moving and honest but also hopeful and comforting. Millikin is a versatile artist and uses his sincere writing skills to approach a tender delicate emotional theme in a wholesome passionate yet peppy manner.

When asked about the track Millikin said “This song, to me, paints the picture that no matter what you’re dealing with, it will pass and you’re going to be alright.”

 

Stream ‘All These Things’ below


ScttWlkr ‘Sleep Cycle Cyanide’

Alaska based singer-songwriter ScttWlkr has recently released his newest single ‘Sleep Cycle Cyanide’. As an artist, ScttWlkr is notorious for his use of soulful lyrics and his powerful raspy voice and although he’s experimented with different instruments, as every good artist does, he’s built a following around his bare bones acoustic music, allowing the focus to remain on the lyrics that he pours his soul into.

‘Sleep Cycle Cyanide’ is a warm melodic treasure packed with passionate soulful vocals depicting heartfelt emotional lyrics. Sweet guitar twangs as ScttWlkr’s soothing raspy tone creates a beautiful tender scene and candle lit delicacy. With soft acoustic guitar strums throughout it’s cosy and intensely moving and captivating. With a stunning gentle melody and toasty mellow exterior wrapped in nostalgic tones its wholesome and pure. It’s simply presented but extremely effective.

Explaining the inspiration behind the release, ScttWlkr said,

“I wanted to capture the feeling of sadness, and write a song that could be felt and related to by anyone who has ever been through a rough patch in relationships. Whether it be family, friends or significant others.” 

The track was released in late June and is available to stream or purchase via all major media providers. For more information about ScttWlkr, his future releases and any upcoming live shows, follow him on his social media pages here https://www.facebook.com/scttwlkr

Stream ‘Sleep Cycle Cyanide’ below

 


 James Walker ‘Weathered’

British singer-songwriter James Walker has released  his new single ‘Weathered’. The track is taken from Walker’s forthcoming album ‘English Bones’ due for release later this year and is the follow-up to his recent single ‘Next To Me’. Originally a session musician, James Walker performed as a piano player for a number of touring artist’s, spending the past six years playing across the world.  Soon after, Walker developed a rare heart condition, which resulted in a year-long battle and major surgery to save his life. Earlier in 2016 he released his debut EP ‘Modern Medicine’ drawing on influences from the likes of Conor Oberst and The Weepies.  Following its launch, Walker announced a UK and US tour to support his debut EP, which was his first chance to play to an audience as a solo artist. The shows became a great success and enabled him to build up an international fan base.

‘Weathered’ is an emotional blow and hard hitting melodic track, with warm acoustic accompaniment and ethereal breezy soundscapes. Smothered in emotional depth and tender passionate vocals it’s sweet soul searchingly striking yet heartwarming and strongly moving. Sweet falsetto vocals pull at your heart strings while lush harmonies fill out the sound with warmth and compassion. A sway-like tempo and touching lyrics make this track instantly stand out. It stops you in your tracks, makes you listen and pulls every feeling out of your soul and lays it in front of you. Packed with simple raw emotion which Walker carefully portrays in a soothing tender manner. It’s a beautiful experience.

James Walker’s first full-length album ‘English Bones’ will be released via Wild Native Records and was produced by Sam Winfield (Amber Run, Bring Me The Horizon). ‘English Bones’ is a step away from Walker’s debut EP, both thematically and stylistically and for the first time will be accompanied by a full band. To support the release of his new album, Walker has announced a 35-date tour across the UK and Europe this year, kicking off in the Netherlands this August. More information and tour tickets can be found on his official website here http://jamesreklaw.wixsite.com/jameswalkermusic

 

Stream ‘Weathered’ below.