Guy Fox – Great new single “I Don’t Know” – Taken from debut album coming this summer

guyfox4As the hint of spring begins to stir in the warming breezes that flow, out drifts a brand new track worthy of a feature in any summer playlist.

Guy Fox are an Oakland-based 4-piece that uniquely blend together Afro-pop, Funk and Soul; a combination that creates a carefree and uplifting feel.  With hints of alternative rock and indie thrown in for good measure, they ride with a flow that is catchy and enticing.

Coming together at college about six years ago the band comprises of Peter Granquist (lead vocals and drummer), chief songwriter Nate Witherbee (synth,vocals and guitar), Charlie More (Bass and vocals) and Greg Waters (lead guitar,vocals and saxophone); their name actually developing after they played a gig at a Guy Fawkes party.

The band source inspiration and motivation from their lighthearted and spirited attitude, their sense of humour and fun is what drives them and connects them to their audience.  Peter Granquist echoed this sentiment by saying, ‘we don’t want to be cheap thrills, but we want to be a mobile party where people show up because they feel like they are at home’.  Bass player Charlie Moore also described what they are trying to do as ‘create energy and an atmosphere to facilitate a spark’…that’s what Guy Fox does, creates fire from their combined musical sparks.

Three years ago their debut EP was released and a year later in 2013 their second EP ‘The Wild’ came out, both were very well received.  This summer sees the release of their debut LP which, in keeping with their eclectic and indie-soul vibe, features their brand new track ‘I Don’t Know’.  Released exclusively on Bandcamp for their Oakland City Guide ( https://bandcampcityguides.bandcamp.com/releases), this single was written by bassist Charlie Moore.  With a slightly more retro vibe to that of their previous material, this fantastic track will also feature on their new album which has been a year and a half in the making.

This full-length release has taken a more experimental approach, replacing their traditional guitar and synth sound with more classic instruments such as the organ and wurlitzer.

With not long to wait now for their debut LP, feast your ears on their single ‘I Don’t Know’, a good taster for what’s to come this summer..

Posted in Afro beat, Alternative, Experimental, Funk, Indie, Indie-funk, Rhythm-based, Soul | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bells Atlas – Hyperlust EP – release 12.5.15

0004783166_10It’s a sunny spring evening, the sun is falling into the horizon at a gradual pace whilst it’s rays flicker golden beams through sparsely-knit hedgerows, all is winding down.  As if by some synchronised piece of magic, a song plays from a Bandcamp radio show and sets the tone with it’s laid back, sunshiney vibe.

The song is called ‘Future Bones’ and is performed by the Oakland CA-based band, Bells Atlas.  Composed of Sandra Lawson-Ndu, Derek Barber, Geneva Harrison and Doug Stuart, Bells Atlas released the first single “Future Bones” from their forthcoming EP ‘Hyperlust’ at the beginning of the month.  Their sound has a sense of freedom running though its loosely structured songs which are all bound together by heavy percussion and dynamic, thoughtful arrangements.

Rhythm drives there sound whilst the soulful harmonies of the Nigerian-American songwriter Sandra Lawson-Ndu adds another Afro-Indie-soul dimension of its own, the collective fusion is like the breeze of a summers day passing over your skin, it’s kind of soothing and exciting all at the same time; this is another draw, the sense of not knowing what is coming next..

According to Lawson-Ndu, her singing is directly inspired by the stories she hears in the “worlds of music” each member creates. “What’s awesome about this band is that when we say that we all bring something to the table, it doesn’t just have to do with our own instruments,” Lawson-Ndu said. “We really collectively talk about all the sounds that are happening. It’s not just about what we have our hands on.”

‘Hyperlust’ is due out 12th May but you can pre order your copy of it from here

In the meantime, feast your listening posts to the great single, “Future Bones”..

Posted in Afro beat, Alternative, Atmospheric, Experimental, Rhythm-based, World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post War Glamour Girls – New single “Southpaw Stance” released today!

11025769_923222271043443_5807534841198410608_n-615x400Today saw the first release in nearly a year for Leeds-based Post War Glamour Girls.

Taken from a forthcoming split 7″ with Battlelines, “Southpaw Stance” is a very welcome return for this four-piece and comes to us via Hide and Seek Records on this very day!

One thing that never changes is the relentless drive and energy this band generates through their music.  James Smiths vocals are wild, untamed and as gruff as ever; musically they are tight, this close knit unit works so well together and this is evident in their music.
I have followed this band from the start and can tell you first hand that they are one to see live, their intensity is electric and unfaltering.  They are dynamic and energised, just how they dive about frantically in such close proximity from eachother is admirable in itself.

Described as post-punk, what drew me to the PWGG is the fact that they do not seem to fit comfortably into any musical slot, their sound is an ever evolving adventure, all you have to do enjoy the ride
Today’s song can be (and indeed should be) purchased from here

Posted in Indie Rock, Alternative rock/blues, Experimental, Post Punk, Post rock | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Harry Brereton – Debut release from up and coming artist

artworks-000112514101-nvv7bk-t500x500Over the past few years the DIY approach to making music has reshaped the industry, it’s growth a rapid development amongst new and emerging artists who have began mastering their own creations from the very point of conception right through to delivery.

It inspires me to see how many young musicians there are out there mapping out their own unique paths, self-promoting their music whilst managing the production, releasing their material off their own back, under their own terms; the control is in their hands.

Control being the operative word for that is the title of new and emerging artist Harry Brereton’s first musical release.

At just 20 years old this young musician writes, plays and produces all of his own material and is now sharing his very first track with bloggers and promoters alike.  Originally from Bedford but now based in south west London, this aspiring electronic singer-songwriter has been writing and experimenting with producing ever since he was 14, developing his own sound he now shares his new creations.

Whilst minimal in structure, ‘Control ‘ has a fullness that presents itself in Brereton’s vocals, the collaboration of contrast gives focus to the feel of this song. There is an effortless flow to this track, its stripped back rhythm allows the song to breathe, the emphasis is on space.

I caught up with Harry Brereton to ask this new artist a few questions, here’s what he had to say..

Can you tell me a bit about yourself, where you are from etc?                                Im 20, and I’m actually from Bedford but I’m currently at Kingston University, so I’m spending a lot of my time based in London right now, and that’s where I record most of my music too.

How long have you been writing/performing, do you write lyrics or music first?                                                                                                                                               I’ve been interested in music for as long as I can remember, my mum has a few home videos of me singing songs that I “wrote” even when I was like 5 or 6, haha. So it’s always been a really predominant influence in my life. I first really started to become curious about songwriting and producing when I was about 13 or 14 years old, and I started to use the internet to learn about how songs were actually made. I ended up downloading Audacity to record all these terrible songs I would write with my keyboard and record it all with this desktop microphone. A little later after that I downloaded the demo version of FL Studio, and taught myself how to actually produce beats and I guess that was kind of the real start of it all. Ever since then I’ve just been learning, and now I produce all my music myself in Logic.                                                                                                                            When it comes to writing songs I tend to play around on the piano or guitar to come up with a melody or a chord progression, and if it resonates with me, that will usually spark an idea or a feeling for a song. Then it all tends to flow organically after that, and I’ll usually construct the beat for the song as I write the lyrics. I definitely see it as a whole package.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   What/Who are into/influenced by?                                                                                       I have a wide range of influences, and I don’t think specific artists that inspire me really reflect on my style at all. I think it’s more the attitudes and artistry of artists that I like that I draw influence from, not direct musical references, if that makes sense. I listen to a lot, for example I’m into a lot of modern hip-hop and rap plus alternative rock stuff from the 80s and 90s, but I suppose the most obvious influence is electronic music… I love experimental electronic music and my ‘goal’ is to take that edge but still make a pop song out of it.

Any shows/live performances coming up?                                                                          I don’t play live yet, I consider myself to be a studio musician/producer right now as I’m just enjoying finding my sound and seeing what I’m capable of. Once I’ve got a decent line-up of songs, looking into how I can translate these songs into a live set-up is something that I’m very interested in.

You can follow Harry Brereton and download ‘Control’ from  here                                                     

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Kane Strang – Debut LP release/1st April (plus interview)

maxresdefaultKane Strang is a young singer/songwriter hailing from Dunedin, New Zealand.  This early-20-something year old has been exploring his creative side for a while now and has already achieved a great deal as a musician.

Whilst living overseas in Germany he made his first album which was recorded in a World War 2 bomb shelter but, he explained, “the lights being on a timed meter gave the recordings a rushed feel”, he also described how,  “I’d be playing or singing then the timer would go off and I’d be in complete darkness.  It was haunting”.  This album was released in 2013 and was titled A Pebble and a Paper Crane but, somewhat dissatisfied with this material, Strang reinvented himself and changed his approach to songwriting, stripping it right back.

Released on the 1st of this month, Strang has just released what he now calls his ‘debut’ album.  Titled “Blue Cheese” this record contains 9-tracks of hazy psyche-tinged, folk-pop and follows the less-is-more aesthetic.  This lo-fi artist has recorded and self released this album which, inexpensive to create, is rich in content, unpretentious and extremely honest; the stripped back approach has allowed Strang’s lyrical charms to roam free.

Packed full of hazy guitars, hypnotic rhythms and a kaleidoscope of sounds, his record takes you on a psychedelic jaunt with flamboyant tracks like “The Canyon Her River Carved” and “Never Kissed A Blonde” sounding something like early Pink Floyd would have released.

Taken from this album is “The Web”,  a single that immediately gets under your skin with it’s heavy driving bass, contrasted by Strang’s lightweight vocals, his lyrics crisp and clear telling a tale of today’s modern approach to romance..

I was lucky enough to catch up with Kane and asked him a few questions about his new release and what inspires this young up and coming musician:

 I have just read that “Blue Cheese” is your debut self-released album but have also read about an album that you did  in 2013 called “A Pebble and a Paper Crane”what happened to that?                                                                                 A Pebble and a Paper Crane was a demo that I made in Germany and sent home on CD for my friends and family. People seemed to like it a lot but I am pretty sick of the songs and the sound. I guess I took it off the internet because I don’t think it represents me very well. Being solo and making music under your own name makes it a lot harder to leave things out there that don’t feel like you. There is still a music video for a song off the demo called Winded and a few CDs floating around though.

Where did the title for your debut “Blue Cheese” come from?                                    It was just a dumb thought I had one night. I was sick of not being able to describe my music to people when they asked me what it was like. I’m so bad with understanding genre and where I fit in exactly. I decided that I’d just say it was Blue Cheese from now on. As in, kinda sad and kinda cheesy.

When did you start playing and writing? What inspires your songs?                      I started playing guitar properly when I was kicked out of clarinet class in high school. I wrote extremely bad songs for years and years and years. It’s only very recently that I’ve started to write things that I don’t mind. And I’m inspired by a lot of different things. Sometimes a conversation with a friend, or just listening to some music with them, will make me want to write something.

Do you write lyrics to music or the other way round..or is this dependent on the song?                                                                                                                                             There’s really no structure to my songwriting process. It’s all a bit chaotic, especially when I’m trying to finish a few things at once.

Your Psychedelic Pop reminds me of early PInk Floyd, what music has influenced you?                                                                                                                     Lately I am really into people like Parquet Courts, Speedy Ortiz and Connan Mockasin. Angel Olsen has inspired me a lot too. Also, yesterday I was listening through an Orchid Tapes compilation at my parents house and it was so damn good.

Any plans to tour?                                                                                                                           I’m definitely going to tour Blue Cheese in NZ this year and get overseas to do the same ASAP. I’ve had a few practices with some really good friends of mine and the full band line up is really coming together. I want to play the songs better live than I was able to record them in my room and I think that’ll be more than possible with these guys.

 

Posted in Alternative, Psychedelic, Singer/Songwriter, Dream Pop, Folk, Experimental, Psyche Pop, Indie Folk, Minimalist, Folk Pop, Self released, Kane Strang | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

MARCH PLAYLIST – SONGS OF THE DAY

So here it is, the March playlist is ready for a listen and is packed with a good mix of new, old and current songs.  For a lot more information about all of this music, go to my March ‘Song of the Day’ page here

 

Posted in Alternative, Atmospheric, Psychedelic, Singer/Songwriter, Rhythm-based, Electronic, Acoustic, Dream Pop, Blues, Alternative rock/blues, Folk, Experimental, Post Punk, Electro pop, Indie Folk, American Folk, MARCH SONG OF THE DAY | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rose Windows – New album release May 2015

rose-windows-bandHailing from Seattle, Rose Windows are psychedelic rock band that came together in the Autumn of 2010.

Formed by songwriter Chris Cheyeyo, the band are a collective of musicians and friends who came together for this creative process.  Rabia shaheen Qazi’s enchanting and exotic vocals are joined by roommate David Davila on piano and organ, whilst former band mates Nils Petersen and Pat Schowe are on electric guitar and drums.  Frequent house guests Richie Rekow and Veronica Dye were also introduced as bass and flute players.

The exciting thing about this band is the sheer amount of collective energies and influences that have been thrown into the mix.  Their sound draws upon many different aspects, ranging from American Folk to West Saharan guitar rock, 70’s metal to traditional Persian music and is rife with contrast, as a hazy atmosphere collides with rock-infused gusto.

The combination of sounds come together so well and bring an element of the unknown, their songs can go from bitter sweet melodies to chunky heavy duty bass driven riffs in a blink of an eye which is both stimulating and exciting.  With Doors-like organ patterns riding over moody bass lines, Sabbath style riffs and a multitude of cultural influences, (including that of Native Americans, Persians and Eastern Europeans), their sound is about as diverse as you can get.

In June 2013 Rose Windows released their debut album “The Sun Dogs” which was released by their newly signed label Sub Pop.  Recorded in Seattle this album came together in March-May 2012 before being released the following summer and was to be an album of exploratory experimentation.  Breaking away from the indie, garage rock sounds of the time, this release and it’s blend of exotic scales and blues thunder didn’t quite fit anywhere but its theme of “the everyday blues that capitalism and its hit man, religion, bring on all of us” was certainly apt and greatly received.

In February this year the band announced that their self-titled second album would be released on May 5th via Sub Pop.  Recorded in Louisiana, this 9-track album was greatly inspired by the bands surroundings and, according to a press release, “the rich traditions of the Delta blues and the swampy riffage of New Orleans rock”.  The press release also goes on to add that “whereas The Sun Dogs album sounded like an American rock band drawing upon ideas from the Old World, their self-titled record sounds like an American rock band delving deep into the underbelly of their own heritage, dredging up its stories with the requisite grit and grime of the fertile Southern soil”

Lead single “Glory, Glory” was shared the day that their new album was released. Gutsy and pounding, the rhythm is the first thing to hit you when the song begins; which makes me think of the beginning of Thee Oh Sees “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster”.  Dynamically exciting, the driving rhythm and Sabbath-style guitar riffs are real catchy, it all bodes well for their new release this Spring

Posted in Alternative, Alternative rock/blues, American Folk, Blues, Experimental, Folk, Garage Rock, Psychedelic, Psychedelic rock, Rhythm-based, Seattle, World | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

H. Hawkline – Recent album release and brand new single “Everybody’s On the Line” (due 18th May 2015)

h-hawklineH.Hawkline is no stranger to the world of music, he has played in various bands but it wasn’t until relatively recently that he began to share his very own creations.

Huw Evans began his career working as a TV presenter before switching his creative hand to music.  Now he goes by the name of H Hawkline, a name which he describes was inspired from “..the title of my favourite book The Hawkline Monster by American author Richard Brautigan…It’s a great read and I’ve always loved it,” said H Hawkline, “When I was mulling over names a mate thought it sounded good. I put my initial before Hawkline and the name was born.”

His music has gradually grown as his quirky Welsh-folk sound gathers followers, I now join that collective, my discovery of this artist being relatively recent.

In 2010 Huw began sharing his own music, prior to that he had always played with other artists including Cate Le Bon and Stephen Black (aka singer-songwriter for Sweet Baboo).  It was his incessant determination to share his sounds which resulted in this singer/songwriter fronting his own projects.

After various EP and LP releases via Shape records in 2010/11, Hawkline was signed to Heavenly Recordings where, on the 2nd February this year, he released his first album on this label titled, “In the Pink of Condition”.

H Hawkline and his “strange pop”, (as described by Huw himself),  have also relocated.  Uprooting himself from his native Welsh lands, Huw now resides in LA which is where his new album “In the Pink of Condition” was made.  Produced by long-time tour mate and collaborator Cate Le Bon, (who also happens to be his partner), its twelve tracks closely resemble the last two Cate Le Bon albums, their artistry has become more closely intertwined over the years, their sound merging.

H. Hawkline has also just announced the release of new single “Everybody’s On The Line” which, with it’s ‘Blur meets The Kinks sound’ shares the same honest, lo-fi theme to that of the whole album.

It is a song fit for the coming of Summer, lightweight and catchy, with the unmistakable and distinguished vocals of Huw a trademark to his kooky sound.

H. Hawkline is supporting Foxygen in a new string of UK shows this summer, the dates are listed below:

May

2 – Leeds, Live at Leeds @ Nation of Shopkeepers
3 – Machynlleth, Machynlleth Comedy Festival
7 – Liverpool, Kazimer *
8 – Leeds, Brudenell Social Club *
9 – Glasgow, Stereo*
11 – Bristol, The Lantern *
12 – London, Electric Ballroom *
14 – Brighton, The Great Escape
15 – Brighton, The Dome *

August – 22nd – Crickhowell, Green Man Festival

September – 5th – Larmer Tree Gardens, End of the Road Festival

* = w/ Foxygen

Posted in Alternative, Experimental, Folk, Folk Pop, H.Hawkline, Singer/Songwriter | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles announce Debut LP release, “Oh Man, Cover the Ground”

shana-clevelandMany say that all good things come to those who wait.  In this instance, with Seattle-based Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles, the constraints of time have played no part in hurrying their latest project into fruition

Shana Cleveland has been performing for over six years, playing with a rotating selection of musicians known as The Sandcastles.  She also fronts the retro, garage-inspired all girl band La Luz and has been performing in this separate band for the last three years.

Speaking of her music both with The Sandcastles and La Luz, Cleveland described how the songs of The Sandcastles were “meant to be played in quiet places, so they didn’t make sense for a rock band.”

Both projects have evolved alongside one another, each band developing at its own creative pace, the music cumulative.

Shana Cleveland & The Sandcastles along with her collective of musicians create delicate indie songs, all of which “..have a lot to do with the weirdness of being inside your own head all the time in the outside world. It’s sort of an internal monologue of thoughts I have but wouldn’t say. It’s about laziness, and lust, and wanting to eat other people’s food when it looks better than mine.”

So, whilst this debut LP may have been a long time coming, the wait will soon be over.  Their first album release goes by the name of  ‘Oh Man, Cover the Ground’ and is due on May 26th via Suicide Squeeze Records

Cleveland has shared lead single ‘Golden Days’.  Gentle as it warms, this song feels like the the dawning of a summers day, it’s delicate rays peeping in through closed curtains as the sun heats the skin.  Fresh and airy the mellow notes of a cello take you though this weightless tune, as the tapping of a tambourine gives rhythmic a dimension to the chorus.

Cleveland had this to say about the track: “This song is about surprise perfect days you spend with someone that will never be anything more. When you’re traveling and missing home and meeting people and leaving them over and over and the magic times when everything feels just right and you think, ‘I should just stay here, maybe this could be my life.”

Posted in Acoustic, Atmospheric, Folk, Indie Folk, Seattle | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

FEBRUARY PLAYLIST – SONGS OF THE DAY

Packed full of new, old and current sounds, my Song of the Day pages are ever changing! For more information on all of the music featured in this playlist (and more), go to my February Song of the Day page here:

Posted in Acoustic, Alternative, Alternative rock/blues, Blues, Country, Electro pop, Electronic, Experimental, FEBRUARY SONG OF THE DAY, Folk, Indie Folk, Rhythm-based, Singer/Songwriter | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment