The term “singer-songwriter” seems to have become short hand for a certain type of musician. These days it seems as if you could blindly throw a stone and not fail to hit some over-entitled, gap-year troubadour treating us to his accumulated life experience since leaving home not six months previously. Normally in a wide brimmed hat. Thankfully artists such as Jen Simmonds remind us that all is not lost, far from it and she offers us a lush and sonorous response that swiftly destroys such negative stereotypes.
It Can Only Get Better is a smooth and slightly psychedelic haze of chiming guitars and picked acoustica, minimal beats and a voice that is both emotive and seductive. The charm of the song is that whilst it deals with unrequited love it comes from a positive and uplifting place, a neat trick if you know how to do it.
Have you ever enjoyed a certain type of music with the specific intention of passively listening? Need something to hum along while you focus on your daily monotonies and responsibilities? Dead Sullivan’s Sever is just the song for you.
Are there cute, imagery-laden lyrics hiding under a blanket of soft guitars in this song? Yes, but what’s more readily in the foreground are crinkling percussive bits and page turning samples that provide the illusion that the song is blossoming in the background of its own official recording. If that’s not a unique approach, I don’t know what is. Sever is aptly named as it seems to be gently removed from the listener enough to alter their mood and help them find a drowsy contentment without having to engage much in actually listening. This passive pop leaves so much to be discovered upon placing a headphone in one ear and another in the ear of a good friend to explore together.
Dead Sullivan proves inventive and evocative on this track. It has its own listening scene built into itself and seems perfect for so many specific moments of the day that there’s little excuse not to have it on a readily available playlist.
Somewhere west of the frantic folk-for-money thrash of Mumford and Sons but east of the rhinestones of the Nashville scene, beyond the oddly named British Americana movement and taking a left turn around the almost meaningless roots moniker, you will find the start of a forgotten highway. Jump in a car, preferably a Mustang with the top down, a crate of beer and a David Lynch soundtrack blasting out, drive until the sun goes down and you will come to a small roadside truck stop. This is the band that will be on in an hour.
Somehow Up Down Go Machine manage to swerve all the clichés whilst capturing a wonderful sense of pathos and theatre and the result is an ambient take on the southern, country-rock sound. The real standouts of the track are the things that don’t stand out at all…space, restraint and understatement. And it is these tools that they use both to create a drifting chill that washes through the music and also as a contrast to the big dynamics which occasionally punch through.
It just shows you that it isn’t about how much music you use to build a track, it is more about the passion, soul and emotion you imbue it with and Gambler has a whole pick-up truck’s worth of those qualities.
Delicate, tender and poignant, Calming River returns following his critically acclaimed 2015 EP with the dark and brooding new single, “For The Echoes To See”, released Friday 26th May 2017.
Intricate fingerpicking, numerous tunings and contemplative lyrics create an intimate and beautiful aesthetic showcasing the British-born, Denmark-based songwriter at the peak of his powers.
The atmospheric new single, “For The Echoes To See”, addresses the discomfort and disequilibrium of not living up to expectations inherent in modern life – “a feeling felt by many who struggle to see human values of care and empathy reflected in today’s world”,” as Calming River songsmith Joshua Malcolm explains.
Songwriter Joshua Malcolm explains, “The ethos of my work is to create challenging, artistic and meaningful work. On one level the music is deceptively simple—an acoustic guitar and vocal. But when analysed on another level, there is a distinguished complexity in the technical guitar playing, alternative song structures and reflective lyrics. My music is aimed to oppose an overly-produced and formulaic tide that washes many shores.”
The sensitive nature of Calming River’s artistry generates the rare ability to form a uniquely personal connection with his audience resulting in numerous festivals and radio sessions as far as Australia, New Zealand, Denmark and the UK. The arrival of “For The Echoes To See” embraces a poetic class that justifies the songwriter as being described as one of the best up and coming writers in Europe.
Of Love is a departure from the minimalist, synth-driven singles DYAN released in the summer of 2016 as they were releasing their debut album, Looking For Knives. With an introduction of warm woodwind chords, Of Love tells a story of a lover, once left, now leaving to find a way forward alone. As the song progresses, instruments creep into the song – guitars, violins, cellos, drums – building a sound to reflect the wide open world you get into when you leave heartache behind.
A trio with roots in Winnipeg, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles, DYAN builds songs out of minimalist synths, layers of atmospheric guitars, and driving rhythms. Alexis Marsh (singer/guitarist/bassist) and Sam Jones (guitarist/synths) co-produced Marsh’s songs between scoring film and television projects; Dan Dorff Jr (drums/synths) joined when the duo was mixing what became the group’s debut album, Looking For Knives. With the band in place, they began translating the music from the studio to the stage, playing their first show at Union Station as part of Live Nation’s Ones To Watch summer concert series in July 2016. Looking For Knives premiered on Billboard late-July 2016 and was preceded by singles “St. James”, “Days Upon Days”, and “Looking For Knives” – each one charting on HypeMachine.
The title track spent two weeks in the top 10 of Spotify’s Viral Chart (both USA & Global), helping push play-count to over 500,000 within a month of its release. Looking For Knives is available on vinyl at vinylmoon.co/dyan.
Cody Jay is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. His debut album “Off the Vine” was released earlier this year, and he is currently gearing up for the release of an acoustic version of that album. In addition, Cody is working on his next album (geared towards a more electro-house/pop feel) as well as visuals to accompany the new music.
Cody Jay has thus far been responsible for writing, producing, and recording all of his music, and is currently in search of representation to help facilitate further growth in his career. “Off the Vine” – Acoustic is a cover album by Cody Jay. It is an acoustic version of his debut release album, “Off the Vine” and shows another side to Cody’s artistry. By stripping down the music production to only that of a guitar and piano, Cody showcases his true talents and vocal abilities. These songs take on an entirely new feel, and shed new light on Cody and his music.
Home movies show him at three years old singing ‘boo-boo-bah-loo’ over Louis Armstrong records under the nurturing watch of his grandfather, John.
Himself, a music junkie and keen guitarist, it was to emulate John and follow in those loving steps that Luke De-Sciscio took to music and hungered to learn guitar. Those early years, playing the blues with his grandfather, sank their teeth deep into Luke’s soul. The seed was sewn.
He had dabbled in bands throughout school; exploring Funk, Rock and Blues though it wasn’t until spending several years living on a boat in the English countryside that he began to find his own voice – stripped back, unguarded and delicate.
Debut LP “Gossamer Rose” was recorded live over the course of one evening with a few good friends over a few bad beers – its raw honesty invites the listener into that night to share in the stories told.
Universally personal and cutting with truth, ‘Gossamer Rose’ has been praised for its intricate guitar work and described as “a haunting example of the beauty of the folk genre.”
Brock is an up-and-coming pop/singer-songwriter vocalist and producer from Mississippi. His debut single “Hide It” premiering Jan. 1st 2017 is the first of a string of songs he will be releasing in early 2017 accumulating in an EP. His rhythm-based and catchy style of production and singing gives his music a unique trademark.
This first track is a mixture of indie pop, acoustic, and R&B – three genres that have been influencing Brock since he began producing and songwriting at the age of 13. He likes to describe his sound as New Romantic – raw, unapologetic, and personal lyrics centered on relationships, love, and heartbreak with an upbeat, dance backbeat and rhythm.
Brock writes his lyrics from a personal space and hopes listeners will be able to relate to his story. Growing up in a family of “hobby” musicians, he had access to a drum kit and guitars at an early age giving him the opportunity to develop his skills as a multi-instrumentalist. Since then, he has been in a couple of locally successful indie bands and has spent the past two years developing his sound — working with numerous producers and songwriters in Los Angeles.
Hailing from San Diego, multi-talented musician Ross Nicol has been actively at work in Nashville this past year. A classically-trained guitarist who began writing music at 14, Nicol has created a musical style that solidifies his place in the alternative spectrum.
Inspired by the creative story-telling and musical arrangements of Radiohead and Vampire Weekend, while drawing influence from David Bowie and The Beatles, Nicol fuses the analog sounds of the past with a modern, alternative twist. Under the guidance and label imprint of producer Jason Hill (Louis XIV, The Killers), Nicol has two huge releases planned for the year: an EP due for the end of May and a full-length album set for later this summer.
He is in good company, working with the creative minds behind Alabama Shakes, MGMT and Of Montreal, so we are confident this will be a successful summer for the new artist.
A multi instrumentalist, a sound engineer and a powerful voice all wrapped up in one, Damien McFly effortlessly blends the acoustic elements of folk with a rock inspired flair for songwriting.
Damien McFly is the stage name for Damiano Ferrari, a driven, passionate and charismatic singer from Padova, Italy. Dedicated to live performance, he has played over 300 gigs throughout Europe in two years and in the summer of 2014 he crossed the Atlantic to play gigs in Chicago, Indianapolis and Nashville.
He has toured France, Belgium, Holland and Germany as well as gracing the Hard Rock Rocks festival Acoustic Stage in Edinburgh and the Wigwam stage at Carfest.
A powerful collection of heartfelt songs, Damien’s debut album Parallel Mirrors (Oct 2015) channels the best of Mumford & Sons andThe Lumineerssound, both bands having been a huge influence on him as he developed as a songwriter. Each instrument on the release has been recorded unplugged, utiliing the natural ambience and reverb of specific recording locations to pick up the warmth of live performance on microphone.
New Start, Damien’s first single has been picked by MTV New Generation Italy as song of the week in December 2015.
The song I Can’t Reply is one of the winner songs of the ISC (international Songwriting Competition) 2016 and received many national airplays in the UK (BBC Scotland, Amazing Radio) and in Belgium (Classic 21).
During the summer of 2016 he will perform at YouBloom festival in Dublin, Home Festival (Biggest italian festival) in Treviso (Italy) and several shows in Italy, Belgium and Holland.