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blues

Music

Francesca Mondi releases jazz-fusion ‘Devil’s Door’

If the term jazz-fusion is one which conjures thoughts of avant-gardist musical mayhem or worse, genres being forced against their will to break new ground, then you definitely need Francesca Mondi in your life. Yes, it is jazz being given a pop make over, but rather than a conflict of genres and the toning down of the key elements which define each of them, Francesca manages to bring out the best of both.

Devil’s Door has a meandering jazz groove and a soulful heart and the pop approach brings an accessible, not to mention commercial, vibe to the proceedings. Throw in some classic 60’s girl group harmonies and Francesca’s own sensuous tones and you have the perfect meeting of musical minds.

Music

Video Premiere: Brit School Award-Winner Bella Barton To Release Debut Single ‘Daughter’

If the idea of establishments such as Brit School may seem at odds with some people’s idea of learning how to be a performer, musician or songwriter, Bella Barton comes along to dispel any mistrust or doubts in such a system. If you think that these types of formal music training are likely to produce identikit popsters, one listen to Daughter will prove, not only a relief, but nothing short of  a revelation. It is soulful, chilled, pop aware, bluesy and infectious and whilst it seems to be of a very covert and inconspicuous nature, it has great rhythm and drive, and just seem to instantly connect to the listener’s groove genes.

So what are we dealing with here? Sassy summer sensation? Ambient soul? A masterwork of understatement? Chilled pop classic? Actually, it is all of those things and more. In a pop world seemingly full of humourless clones, dance routines and careers built on marketing plans and image consultants, Bella is a breath of fresh air. She’s the girl next door turned pop sensation who just breezes past you with a new take on how simple pop can be. How simple and how great.

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Buy/Stream the track: https://bellabarton.lnk.to/Daughter

Words: Dave Franklin

Music

Dan DiMonte release smooth track “Slip Away”

You can go beyond the usual labels when trying to describe Dan DiMonte’s music. Jazz, soul, pop all go some way to describe what he does but a better word is …smooth. Slip Away is smooth beyond measure, it is ultra cool and timelessly soulful but no other word in the dictionary sums it up better than smooth.

And whilst Dan DiMonte is also a nurse in the conventional sense in his non-musical moments he also seems to have found a way of tapping in to the healing properties of music, I can’t imagine a condition that wouldn’t be cured or at least eased by being subjected to these rich tones. These lazy soulful grooves and chilled jazz-funk vibes might be the break though that medicine has been looking for!

Music

Nuvem Leopardo release psychedelic vibe track ‘Revolucao Interior’

Blending some West Coast psychedelic vibes through some solid and sleazy rhythm and blues, Leopardo is like a time machine that takes you back to the dark underbelly of the hippy dream. Whilst day-glow flower children were painting kaleidoscopic music across the 60’s sky, elsewhere in dark corners an alternative vision was being woven, acid laced and menacing and it is this that beats at the heart of Revolucao Interior.

Doorsian dystopian blues and hazy psychedelic grooves drive the song as the vocals drift half out of earshot, dreamlike and drifting. But this is less an exercise in retrospection more a journey through timeless reflection and exorcism as the music seems to tap into the primal heart of mankind and unleashes the dark urges that can be found lurking deep within music.

Music

A&R Factory Present: The Great Malarkey

There are quite a few folk, punk, and blues acts in the independent scene. There aren’t very many bands that combine all three of those influences in a fascinatingly coherent and eclectic way, however, and that’s what The Great Malarkey strives to do. The bizarre London-based outfit is preparing to release their sophomore studio endeavor, an album entitled ‘Doghouse.’ In anticipation of the full release, the band has dropped the first song off the record, ‘Duck n Dive.’

Duck n Dive’ may be one of the most surprisingly brilliant songs to come across my desk in months. At times, the song sounds like it’s bleeding out into the street from Preservation Hall in New Orleans. Then, moments later, the tune sounds like a Paul Butterfield song before morphing again into Tom Waits’ ‘Rain Dogs.’ There isn’t a style of Americana-esque music that isn’t melded beautifully into ‘Duck n Dive.

Jam-packing a song with that much sonic influence could easily go awry, but The Great Malarkey has exceptional chemistry. The production quality of the single is superb. It’s cleanly produced and sounds beautiful, but maintains a very loose atmosphere, as if it was recorded with a handful of well-placed room microphones. The comradery of the performers, which is especially present in the opening of the song, makes it completely and utterly infectious to listen to.

Lyrically, the song is chock-full of blues and folk influence, a rambunctious blend of Chicago and delta blues that’s further layered with several generations of folk music. When the growly male vocalist comes into the song toward the tune’s halfway point, The Great Malarkey harness Tom Waits in his prime, as if ‘Duck n Dive’ is a song off ‘Swordfishtrombones’ or ‘Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers & Bastards.’

To add a cherry atop the cake, there is a very punk mentality to this performance. It’s complex and layered, but has an undying aura of levity. There isn’t an ounce of pretension in this music, which is a lovely change of pace for a critic like myself that digs into intensely pretentious “folk” acts on a daily basis.

Duck n Dive’ is one of the most joyfully fun and lovable singles to come out thus far this year in the indie scene. It should put ‘Doghouse’ near the top of your list of records to check out in the community this year.

https://www.facebook.com/thegreatmalarkey

Words By Brett David Stewart
Music

A&R Factory Present: The Pale White

The Pale White released their debut single ‘Reaction’ on January 20th through Ignition 45’s. This is the accompanying video for the track.

‘Reaction’, a thumping slice of Josh Homme-infused blues-rock featuring Adam Hope on vocals/guitar, brother Jack on drums and Tom Booth on bass, will not just prick up ears, but no doubt grab the entire industry by the scruff of the neck. Produced by rock stalwart Adrian Bushby (Muse, Foo Fighters), the boys’ introduction for the world is both intensely melodic and catchy, while packing a mighty bark and bite to match.

Though Adam, 23, and Tom, 25, have been fixtures on the scene for over half a decade now, it was only upon Adam’s return from London to Newcastle in March 2015 that the band took shape. First recruiting younger brother Jack, 18, to start the group and demo some of his songs, the group was later completed by long time friend Tom. Adam credits ‘Reaction’, a track written in his bedroom – as “the blueprint of what we are”.

The emerging Newcastle trio are the lads to propel rock music back to the summit. When they adopted the name The Pale White last year – which “alludes to the bright light people claim to see before they die” – everything fell into place. A string of demos in the shape of ‘Let You Down’ and ‘Second Place’ followed and support slots with bands like Band of Skulls, Maximo Park and more became a formality, in addition to a string of their own sold-out shows in the city.

Born and raised in the North East, the trio are proud of their origins, but are beginning to see the bigger picture. “Being from somewhere like this is more important than being a small fish in a big pond. We’ve got the potential to break out of the city where no one’s done anything for a while.”

With another two singles lined up for release, the band are trying to plan a few steps ahead – but keeping things as “spontaneous” as possible. Festivals, an EP and more singles all amount to a potential album in mid-2018; but with a band brimming with ideas, talent and most importantly, burgeoning attention, the shot to the arm British rock needs right now could come sooner, rather than later.

Find out more here

Music

A&R Factory Present: Brandon Serafino

Hartford, Connecticut based singer/songwriter/producer, Brandon Serafino, releases his second single, “Summits”, off his upcoming debut EP.

Raised by a blues guitarist and a singer, Brandon was surrounded by various musical styles growing up. After studying Brazilian and world music in college, he has just begun his journey as a solo artist, combining his eclectic range of influences.

“Summits” showcases his captivating tenor, stark driving percussion, hollow piano, and father’s slide guitar samples for a haunting mix of folk, r&b, and modern soul

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