Tag Archives: Indie Folk

Kindred ‘Our Tomorrow’ Album

Formed in the picturesque countryside of the South-West, Kindred are a five-piece indie rock band formed of members Fran Crandon, Ian Scott, Helen Sayer, Ian Anstey and Clive Millar. The 5-piece have recently released their debut album ‘Our Tomorrow’, distinguishing themselves from other ‘young rockers’ by taking influence from more traditional genres like folk, which is reflected in their debut. The album is written by guitarist Ian Scott (better known as Scottie) and released on his own record label, ScottSound Ltd, and recorded at the White House Studios. Consisting of 10 engaging tracks,’ Our Tomorrow’ has already picked up support from local radio shows, particularly the track Sunset Surf, written about how it feels to be surfing that special wave, whilst missing your loved one. As well as this five, special mentions go to Heidi Neil for backing vocals and Josh Munyard who played bass on selected tracks on the album.

‘Our Tomorrow’ is a captivating collection of indie rock songs from luscious sweet melodies smothered in bouncy vibrant instrumentation –  it’s a little box of light indie treasures. Its folk influences add a feathery lightness and wholesome depth to the tracks. From the first animated note of ‘She’s My Girl’ it’s obvious this album is set up with positive pick me up good vibes and spirited tunes. It’s elastic with a spring in its step peppy rhythm and jangly guitars teamed with sparkling elegant piano twinkles between the sweet melody. The soft charming vocals add a sugar-coated smoothness and delicious dreamy vibe. Naturally ‘Sunset Surf’ takes you to sunshine and sea air. Zealous stabs on guitar squirt some refreshing zest into the hazy laid-back track while a longing melody flows fluidly throughout. ‘Friend’ has a doo wop-esque  creaminess which adds a touch of animation to their toothsome collection of tracks. Each song becomes more positive and elastic than the previous it’s like walking into a musical that is bursting with smiles sunshine and enthusiasm without becoming too cheesy. Those guitar lines interweaving between the melodies are sublime and add a glorious tropical radiance. ‘Moonshine’ displayed this superbly with its dazzling lustrous guitar solo. The keys in ‘Our Tomorrow’ is about as peppy and gleaming as possible yet light and heavenly. The track oozes warmth and with a well layered sound featuring meticulously crafted details placed perfectly to create a wholly unique experience that is soothing, soul lifting and pure- it’s hard not to let your spirits be lifted. With tracks called ‘Summer Days’ and ‘Free’ they have created your positive feel good playlist. Even final track ‘Baby Blues’ is a fun swinging danceable number. It’s the cheeriest bluesy jam spread generously on a slice of swagger soaked rock and roll.

‘Our Tomorrow’ is a charming collection of tracks clearly designed to brighten your day and it does that for sure.

​20% of the sales of ‘Our Tomorrow’ will be donated to the children’s charity Bibic, which supports children and their families who struggle with brain related disabilities such as Down Syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy.

Stream ‘Our Tomorrow’ below


Nigel Phillip Davies ‘How Wrong Can a Man Be’

Swansea Born Nigel Phillip Davies has released his new single ‘How Wrong Can a Man Be’. Nigel has  been on the bill with some very notable artists in the past, including Amy Wadge and the Strawbs and ‘How Wrong Can a Man Be’ is the latest single from the classically trained pianist. The single see’s Nigel return to an Acoustic/Folk style after years of playing Prog Rock and Jazz. It’s a gentle emotional little ditty with elegant piano wandering through a melancholic melody steeped in heart wrenching nostalgia. It’s a meaningful tender track that evokes images of a sombre Christmas scene. It reminds me a little of David Essex’s ‘A Winter’s Tale’ – just as sweet, dainty, immensely emotional and passionate. The lyrics are honest and pure expressing the rawness of heartbreak so simply and beautifully it will bring a tear to your eye. The feathery light piano wistfully twinkles and floats with a soft innocence and fragility creating a tender delicate emotional scene.

The inspiration for ‘How Wrong Can a Man Be’ came from Nigel’s experiences throughout his life. It is about dealing with love and the loss of that love, but as Nigel says “most songs do” address that. What separates ‘How Wrong Can a Man Be’ from the other songs about losing love is that it is skilfully lyrically driven. The poignant song stemmed from the title and slowly grew to contain various phrases of misdirection, naivety and double meaning.

Stream ‘How Wrong Can a Man Be’


Harpeth Rising ‘Against All Tides’ Album

Harpeth Rising have released their new album ‘Against All Tides’. The classically trained trio of Jordana Greenberg, Maria Di Meglio and Michelle Younger recorded between May 2016 and February 2017 in the eye of the political storm that was taking hold of America. Against All Tides is therefore unsurprisingly heavily influenced by the atmosphere of social unrest that surrounded them. Many of the songs are protests and direct indictments of the political system while others take inspiration from personal suffering and hardships. Two of the songs The Highwayman and I Did Not Make the World were written by David Greenberg, Jordana’s father. David’s songs have appeared on each of Harpeth Risings albums and Jordana – the primary songwriter for the band – states how her father “continues to be a source of inspiration” to her and her music. Over the past 5 years Harpeth Rising have recorded 5 albums, toured 9 different countries on 3 continents and performed more than 600 gigs.

‘Against All Tides’ is an intricate tightly weaved 11 track album filled with organic pure blends of baroque and folk. From the first track ‘Love Child’ the trio slap straight into their meticulously weaved sound. The twanging banjo bounces and playfully hops between an eerie dark soundscape of crawly strides on violin and building depth of urgency on cello. The three-part vocal harmonies give a warmth yet striking hair-raising effect to the track. The tracks that follow maintain this darkened mysterious tone emphasised by the trio’s organic stunning use of instrumentation. ‘Drink of Reddest Wine’ brings a melancholic tone with winding hazy strings dragging back and forth while a sombre vocal melody pines and sobs the mournful lyrics. It’s tender and emotional with a hidden mystical tone. ‘3. 535 (Are You Even Alive?)’ throws a bouncy and theatrically spooky tone into the mix. Tracks like ‘The Highwayman’ display the trios braided weaving instrumentation perfectly. Strings sway, glide and pierce through the track adding soft swoons and dire urgency while the woeful cello builds with chilling depths. The light banjo adds a rush of panic while the vocals narrate through this frantic instrumentation. It’s quite heart stopping. ‘Prison Trilogy’ showcases their knack for story telling and heart wrenching emotion through melody. The accompaniment is simple for this track which leaves the attention all on the beautiful melody and passionate vocal delivery. That sweet string feature is just sublime and delicate lulling you into a beautiful soft stupor. ‘Lucid Dreaming Sheep’ closes the album with a unique sound for the trio. It’s richly rhythmic and boppy with a shimmy and shake like swagger and attitude. This track ends the album showing there’s a little more to their sound than perhaps you would think at first.

‘Against All Tides’ is a well-balanced album filled with hair raising stunning tracks to evoke all your senses. With dance ready beats magnificent storytelling and dazzling richly intertwined instrumentation it’s the perfect organic blend.

Stream ‘Against All Tides’ 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


Matt Katsis ‘As The River Runs’ EP

Melbourne bluesman and folk balladeer Matt Katsis has recently released his newest 6-track EP,’ As The River Runs’. The EP will be the third release from the artist and the release will be accompanied by an 8-date tour across Australia. The seed was planted for Matt through exposure to family friends playing the acoustic guitar at family gatherings, and since then Matt has grown into a well known Australian alternative singer-songwriter with an individual edge. The successful release of his last EP ‘The Burke & Wills Sessions’ back in 2016 was warmly welcomed and since then Katsis has been working hard on writing and recording his newest collection of tracks. After extensively touring over the past couple of years, Katsis shows no signs of slowing. His newest EP release ‘As The River Runs’ encompasses his distinctive fusion of folk, blues and roots and now, after a recent trip to the US travelling through Nashville, New Orleans and Memphis, his music hints at influences of alternative country and Americana.

‘As The River Runs’ is a wholesome slice of folk and blues flavoured country pie. ‘Colours’ kicks off the EP foot stomping and soaked in bluesy swagger. Gritty guitars screech and whine while a  throbbing pulsing beat adds a strong foundation and kick to the track. Katsis’ warm raspy vocals add a gritty texture while guitars wail with a sensual allurement. ’ Need You Here’ is a delicate subtle track with very little instrumentation to start letting Katsis’ soothing warm vocals take the limelight. Light guitar twinkles throughout with delicate percussion chimes and a stomping beat. Golden and wholesome this track glows with infectious bright tones and comforting positivity. Extremely passionate and emotional it’s the kind of track that fills you with hope, puts a smile on your face and brightens your day. ‘All I Wanna Do Is Fly’ is a little darker to start with deep vocals and a shadowy undertone. The vocal harmonies add a chilling coolness to the western like pistols at dawn vibe. It’s a little bit eerie and cold with only the haunting guitar twangs to brighten the track.  ‘You & My Guitar’ returns us to the jingly bright bluesy soaked Americana. It’s gentle sway-like tempo and light guitar twinkles evokes images of a sunset and relaxation. With touching vocals and warm tones it’s a blissful cosy blanket to snuggle into. ‘Tomorrow & The Next Day’ again twangs with country warmth. The thing that becomes apparent with this EP is how detailed and moving a guitar feature can be. The guitar twangs really add depth and vibrancy to the track and lift it into a melancholic sense of playfulness and it’s quite beautiful. ‘Need You Here (unplugged)’ brings us to the end of the EP it’s here you feel the true impact and depth of Katsis’ soulful vocals. It’s quite the calming exquisite way to end a beautiful EP.

‘As The River Runs’ is a warm soothing EP brimming with passionate graceful tracks that warm the cockles of your heart. It pure and honest and charming. Each track flows smoothly into the next while displaying subtle variety’s in Katsis’ musicianship and depth. So rich and moving its immensely satisfying and a soul fulfilling adventure.

 

When asked about the track Katsis said “This EP as a whole pushed me further as a songwriter and led me to cross new territory, using a wider use of instrumentation and taking a closer look into song arrangement.”

You can catch Matt Katsis live at

23rd Sept – Albany, WA

24th Sept – Margaret River, WA

6th Oct – Canberra, ACT

14th Oct – Bendigo, VIC

20th Oct – Mildura, VIC

29th Oct – Adelaide, SA

1st Nov – Melbourne, VIC

23rd Nov – Brisbane, QLD

Stream ‘As The River Runs’ 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


Divining Rod ‘Hemlock Blues / Love Come Tumbling’

Americana, folk singer-songwriter Miyuki Furtado has announced the release of his debut EP with his newest band Divining Rod, a new direction for the previous member of popular post punk band The Roger Sisters. The double A side single was released yesterday and it illustrates the earliest and the most recent paths Miyuki’s songwriting has taken. Released under Killipaki Records, Divining Rod take inspiration from the likes of Bert Jansch, Stephen Stills and Fairport Convention to present a soul tinged, country sound and a taste of what is to come from their full album, ‘Return to Crystal Cove’ which is  set to be released later this year. During his upbringing in Kauai, Hawaii, Miyuki was surrounded by live music and the inspiration from that environment carries through to the tracks in this EP. Recorded by grammy-nominated Brian Forbes (Emily King, Bilal), both tracks on the EP have an interesting story behind the lyrics, with Hemlock Blues being a story of the sensationalism of news in the modern day and the repercussions it can have and Love Come Tumbling inspired by a dream of Miyuki’s which lead him to put pen to paper.
‘Hemlock Blues’ is bouncy soul infused Americana that rushes through you like blood in your veins, it’s wholesome and honest with dark sinister tones lying beneath its rooted sound. Rich country twangs fill the track with sharp bursts of refreshing zest while smooth vocals and soft beat add warmth and comfort. Dramatic stops and vibrant guitar twinkles create a delicate yet striking track that is foot tappingly good.
‘Love Come Tumbling’ is a melodic gripping track with a kick drum acting as the heartbeat of the song. Once again sharp bright guitar melodies flicker in and out adding bright little speckles of luminosity. With a sweet instrumental feature Divining Rod display their slick refined musicianship as lush guitar lines and mellow harmonica twangs blend seamlessly with sweet tones creating a well layered lavish experience. Its vocal melody is simple but with a hearty wholesome sound backing this track it is sublime and warming.

These intricate well layered tracks act as the perfect appetiser for the album ‘Return to Crystal Cove’.

Stream ‘Hemlock Blues / Love Come Tumbling’ below


Ben Bateman ‘Don’t Breathe A Word’

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 travelled 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 is releasing his new single ‘Don’t Breathe A Word’ on July 31st. Its a warm dreamy folk pop track. Swoony and light doused in gentle romantic tones with a sweet melty melody it’s a tender delicate delight. Reverb laced guitar adds a mellow comforting tone as Bateman’s smooth slightly rasped vocals coo and soothe you into a gentle swaying lull. The subtle bass adds depth to the feathery light fluttering heart track. It’s simply composed and as sweet as pie.

‘Don’t Breathe A Word’ is the first of six songs Bateman will be releasing monthly over the next half-year so keep an eye out for those.
You can hear ‘Don’t Breathe A Word’ on YouTube below

 


Delta Howl ‘Mary’

Folk-Rock / Americana duo Delta Howl have released their second single ‘Mary’. Grant Ashman and Mark Neat both grew up in the small town of Dudley, in the heart of The Black Country, England. Both experienced musicians they first met during a live music showcase in the West Midlands over 8 years ago and since then worked diligently on various music projects including various shows in the States and tours with the likes of Simple Minds & Blackberry Smoke. During late 2016 the duo re-united and spent the rest of that year writing and recording the material that has become Delta Howl. ‘Mary’ was recorded, mixed and mastered by the duo in their own studio. It’s the second single off a four track EP which is due to be released in late August of 2017.
‘Mary’ is a toasty track that sounds like summer. Drenched in youthful free vibes with slide guitars adding a wind in your hair carelessness and bongo drums giving a bounce and dance quality it’s instantly likeable. Sweet elegant piano introduces the song until it erupts into a breezy warm heartland county rock track. The big chorus featuring “hey” lyrics on backing vocals gives life and comradeship to the track filling you with oodles of daydreaming emotion.
When asked about the track vocalist Grant said:
“It’s a song that sounds like the summer, it describes a crazy relationship but the best kind of crazy, we hope it transports the listener to a past, present & future time. One that looks happy and fun and that’s what the song is all about, making people have a good time”


James Holt ‘Whatever Happened to John?’

James Holt is a singer,songwriter from Manchester whose unique alternative rock sound, is receiving attention and praise from music industry giants and the listening public alike. He has recently released his new single ‘Whatever Happened to John?’ which was chosen by world-renowned producer Brian Eno for the NOISE arts festival.Holt performs regularly at venues and festivals in towns and cities across the UK including prestigious venues such as the Royal Albert Hall in London.
‘Whatever Happened to John?’ is a speedy energetic track blended with rich varieties of euphoric sounds, from country twangs and rock and roll bounce to sensual ethnic sensibilities and loads in between. With a snappy beat and mellow harmonica twangs, it’s an infectious relentless brisk ball that constantly rebounds back with infectious enthusiasm. Slick guitar flickers and mysterious ethnic feature provides a sultry steamy bridge with psychedelic delusional hints. The track continues it’s steam engine pace laced with adrenaline and heart stopping excitement. It’s a refreshing cracking track smothered in bustle charm and staggering swagger. This guy has some talent.

Stream ‘Whatever Happened to John?’ below