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singer

Music

English Singer-Songwriter James Walker Releases New Single ‘Weathered’

It’s always fascinating that ambient music focuses so much on the sonic landscapes surrounding voices and instruments, and yet it tends to evoke more vulnerability and introspection than an outward focus. James Walker paints a beautiful picture and sings strongly through it with his track Weathered.

Weathered is a name that invokes torn, faded fragments of something once whole. Walker’s music comes together as a remarkably more colorful version of contemporaries like Bon Iver. This is the strength of the track; the ability to see a familiar perspective through a bolder lens than we’re accustomed to.

This isn’t just contemplation surrounded by wintry winds. This is a voice that is powerful if hesitant floating through lights and modulated atmospheres that feel lively more than they feel dreary. It’s an interesting way to approach a song that we’re all familiar with. Themes that we know very well are turned on an angle that we’ve never considered. Isn’t that what introspection is about though? Weathered finds the layers hidden beneath sadness, numbness and longing. It finds an immaculate reality that gives a palpable sense of just what James Walker is longing for.

James Walker’s album ‘English Bones’ is available to pre-order now and will be available from November 10th on all major media providers. More information and tour tickets can be found on James Walker’s official website.

 

2017 UK & European Tour

08/08 -> 15/08 – Horizontoer (NL)

17/08 – Sofar Sounds, Oxford (UK)

18/08 – House Concert, Hemel Hempstead (UK)

19/08 – House Concert, Reading (UK)

20/08 – Unplugged by the Sea, Sheringham  (UK)

21/08 – Three Minute Theatre, Manchester (UK)

23/08 – The Tasting House, Reading (UK)

24/08 – Caffeine & Cocktails, Reading (UK)

25/08 – House Concert, Goring Heath (UK)

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29/08 – House Concert, Reading (UK)

30/08 – Latest Music Bar, Brighton (UK)

31/08 – The Library, Oxford (UK)

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01/09 – Schenkers, Apeldoorn (NL)

02/09 – House Concert, Hoofddorp (NL)

03/09 – Werk aan het Spoel, Culemborg (NL)

04/09 – House Concert, Haarlem (NL)

05/09 – De Nieuwe Anita PM, Amsterdam (NL)

07/09 – Club Move, Barneveld (NL)

08/09 – Tee de Cologne, Köln (DE)

09/09 – Cowhide House Concert, Frankfurt (DE)

10/09 – Xinix, Nieuwendijk (NL)

15/09 – House Concert, Dobl (AT)

16/09 – House Concert, Linz (AT)

18/09 – Tunnel, Vienna (AT)

19/09 – KaffeeWerk, Passau (DE)

20/09 – Frankfurt International School Auditorium, Frankfurt (DE)

21/09 – House Concert, Oberursel (DE)

22/09 – Proberaum B13, Leipzig (DE)

23/09 – House Concert, Berlin (DE)

26/09 – House Concert, Hamburg (DE)

27/09 – Tonfink, Lübeck (DE)

29/09 – Villa Basta, Hasselt (BE)

30/09 – House Concert, Wantage (UK)

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-Paul Weyer

Music

Steve Cornell’s haunting release ‘Save Grace’

Steve Cornell finds a perfect middle ground between timeless Beatles-channelling psychedelia and rough, unforgiving grunge evoking Chris Cornell (no relation?) with his song Save Grace. While the song doesn’t reach the treacherous emotional peaks of the latter, it does pull in on the same dread that has tinged so many verses throughout decades of heartbroken songwriters staring into the abyss and coming back with a song to share.

The hopeless feeling emanating from the track can be applied to so many relatable heart aches from the personal to the existential. The affected guitar helps illustrate this dystopian noir of a soundscape with touches of color and beauty amongst the vulnerable, pained verses which urge the listener to head their warnings. Save Grace is a classic that we may not want to play until we’re ready to sit and listen intently, and in that fashion, we can maintain that it won’t be wasted falling on deaf ears of people in high spirits. This is a song for darker hours and it’s better kept that way.

-Paul Weyer

Music

Jen Simmonds releases emotive and seductive track ‘It Can Only Get Better”

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.

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.

Website | Instagram | Facebook

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

Words: Dave Franklin

Music

A&R Factory Present: Janessa Evrist

The independent singer songwriter community is a very difficult one to break out of. Even though the genre has its roots in the early 1970s, it’s found a massive resurgence in the last several years amongst younger performers combining it with other styles. One of the most recent artists trying to break out of that scene is Janessa Evrist, a Los Angeles-based songwriter who sings, plays piano, and pens her own work. Her debut EP ‘Fall Apart’ is due out this year, and the eponymous single is available now. Let’s delve into it!

Evrist’s ‘Fall Apart’ is a very melancholy piece of music, chronicling her transition from feeling like a broken “work in progress” to no longer caring to bother to “pick up the pieces” of herself. Though that may sound particularly abysmal, there’s a bizarre sense of individual triumph in ‘Fall Apart,’ as if Evrist’s decision to fall apart is a decision to embrace herself the way she is. Everybody is broken in some way. Thus, having broken parts of yourself is part of the human experience. ‘Fall Apart’ recognizes that.

Musically, Evrist’s performance is especially excellent. She has a beautiful voice and her soft croons are scored perfectly by her piano performance and some sparse, but stunning percussion. The song has an ethereal, dreamy quality to it, especially at moments like the section around 2:00 when tiny echoes of Evrist’s vocals cascade about the backdrop.

The music video for ‘Fall Apart’ is surprisingly good, too, and it captures the surreal nature of the song very well. The cinematography of the video is notably intriguing, and Evrist moves through a variety of lighting set-ups from well lit bedrooms to dark forests lit with greens and blues evocative of ‘A Midsummer’s Night Dream.’

‘Fall Apart’ does cut through the noise of the singer songwriter scene, and it does so triumphantly with a fantastic production and accompanying music video. It’s well written and performed, and it’s also indicative of Evrist’s debut EP being a collection of music worth putting on your calendar for later this year.

https://www.facebook.com/JanessaEvristMusic/

Words By Brett David Stewart
Music

A&R Factory Present: Lawrence Hill

Described as an eclectic mix of Cat Stevens and John Mayer, up and coming English singer songwriter Lawrence Hill has become a popular staple of the independent music scene in London, performing at venues the likes of The Spice of Life and the Hard Rock Café. Combining contemporary musings with an ear for their roots, Hill strives to culminate his influences into a cohesive sound that’s authentic and unique unto himself. His latest studio endeavor, ‘Time Keeps Rolling On,’ is an intriguing excursion through singer songwriter infused rock and roll worth taking a listen to. Let’s delve into it.

‘Time Keeps Rolling On’ is in the same spiritual vein of ‘You’ve Got a Friend in Me.’ It’s an anthem of friendship, but it avoids the cliché and manages to feel genuinely authentic and heartfelt. Hill’s songwriting is particularly interesting because he uses time as the shifting factor in a grounded friendship. A lifelong friend is someone you can see every day or once a year and the dynamic of the relationship remains the same. That’s what ‘Time Keeps Rolling On’ brings to mind – the kind of friendships that time, uncharacteristically, cannot touch.

Musically, ‘Time Keeps Rolling On’ juggles a few influences successfully. While it’s still most apt to classify it ‘singer songwriter’ music, it’s injected with doses of pop and R&B influence as well. The single sounds like it could have been picked up off the cutting room floor of a Jack Johnson session. It’s infectiously lovable with a sing-along chorus that isn’t kitschy – a difficult feat not to scoff at. Instrumentally, the song is performed exceptionally well, too, with fantastic harmonies, searing electric guitar, and thunderous percussion.

It also benefits Hill that the studio work on ‘Time Keeps Rolling On’ is especially good. I get singer songwriters across my desk on a daily basis that don’t fall within the same ballpark of production quality that Hill does with this new song. Everything is well mixed and mastered, exuding quality without feeling sterile, either. One can’t help but want to see Hill perform it live and see whether or not the intensity of the recording would translate to the stage well.

James Brown once famously said that if something “sounds good and feels good, then it is good.” Lawrence Hill’s ‘Time Keeps Rolling On’ sounds good and feels good, thus accomplishing two of the most important goals of music. It’s worth the time of anyone looking for a lovely singer songwriter pop tune to blast out their car stereo on their way to the beach come this summer.

www.lawrencehillmusic.com
www.facebook.com/lawrencehillmusic
www.soundcloud.com/lawrencehmusic
www.twitter.com/lawrencehmusic

Words By Brett David Stewart

Music

A&R Factory Present: Patrick Joseph

For years, Patrick Joseph has forged a prolific career as a songwriter on the rise. You may have heard his music on such television shows as Gossip Girl, The Office, Chicago Fire, MTV’s Friendzone, or Happy Endings, to name a few. You might have caught him at festivals around North America such as SXSW in Austin, NXNE in Toronto, or CMJ in New York. Or maybe you’re just discovering his music for the first time. Regardless of how you’ve gotten to know him, you’ve already discovered quickly why Joseph’s had a steady rise to success over the past few years from the Los Angeles music scene to the international stage. With two releases and a few years of touring under his belt, singer/songwriter Patrick Joseph is no stranger to the craft, and 2015 shows no signs of slowing down for the young songsmith who hails from Los Angeles, CA.

Originally from Pittsburgh, PA, Joseph forges a mixture of pretty & gritty vocals, lush production and timeless songwriting, creating a presence that NOW Magazine describes as “A Gifted LA adult-contemporarist with a world-weary Waitsian voice and a Spoon meets Beatles soft-rock vibe.”

Patrick is largely independent, producing, recording, mixing, and until recently, performing all of his recordings on his own. A resident of the neighborhood of Silverlake in Los Angeles, Joseph has established himself as one of the rising stars in the buzzing songwriting scene of Southern California.

His latest release Hindsight brought Patrick Joseph on a US Tour, steady airplay around North America, several features in film & television and the honor of Producer Of The Year in the 2015 Independent Music Awards, as well as recently being named Best Male Pop/Rock Artist in the 2016 LA Music Critic Awards.

https://www.facebook.com/patrickjosephmusic/

Music

A&R Factory Present: Jake Herring

Jake Herring is a singer, songwriter, and producer from c, Florida. He has worked with multiple artist around the globe including RÆVE, DJ Paige, Bowie, Part Native, Allegory, Christian Alexander, and CLN. Jake has been playing guitar since he was 8, singing & songwriting since he was 14, and producing since he was 16.

Jake had his break in the music industry through a single off of his first EP titled “Little Mess.” Little Mess generated just over 810,000 views on Spotify in the first 7 months of being released. Following the release of Little Mess EP, Jake worked to find a remixer for the track which in turn led him to meet !KE and creating Little Mess (!KE Remix). In just around 42 days the track generated over 190,000 views on Soundcloud with the average view count sitting at just around 4,500 views a day.

Jake Herring plans to drop his next single “Miami” on November 18th, 2016. After this release, Jake will have started his transition into the R&B/Electro Pop genre further pushing his efforts in creating his first self-produced album titled “Somewhere Down The Road.” The drop date for this album is still unsure but is aimed for early-to-mid 2017.

Jake’s future plans include receiving a publishing deal, leading on to receiving a record label deal. Jake also plans to begin touring the U.S after the release of his first album “Somewhere Down The Road.” Jake believes that by mixing his folk, singer/songwriter voice with deep R&B/Electro Pop he will be able to create a genre of his own, incorporating such sounds as Majid Jordan and Alt-J together in one track with one mood.

 

Music

A&R Factory Present: Spencer Ludwig

A trumpeter, singer, producer, and dancer who rocks alligator shoes with smoking style and panache, Spencer Ludwig brings any party to life.

Chances are, you’ve heard his lyrical lead trumpet soaring through the music of multiplatinum-selling indie pop act Capital Cities. Not only did the Los Angeles-born, half-Filipino vocalist-instrumentalist perform on their full-length debut In a Tidal Wave of Mystery, but he also crisscrossed the globe with the band, opening Katy Perry’s Prismatic World Tour and tearing up the stage at Coachella, Bonnaroo, and more.

Following a whirlwind two years in the group, he returned to Los Angeles in December 2014 and commenced writing solo material that showcased both his trumpet talents and dynamic, diverse vocals. On his 2016 solo debut he merges jazz virtuosity and pop style for a sound that simmers and swaggers with soul

Spencer says “Legend is one of my favorite sayings for the people who blow me away with out-of-this-world beauty and amazing talent. Legendary beauty & talent can be expressed in someone’s physicality, spirituality, approach to life, artistry and/or musicality.  This song is about seeing ‘it’ in one person and being drawn to them like a moth to the flame. Sometimes you can’t explain in words what attracts you to someone or something but you can’t deny the feeling or presence when it hits you.”

Legend will be the track used in the official promos for season 12 of NBC’s The Voice.

 

Music

A&R Factory Present: Cody Jay

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.

Check out more from Cody Jay here

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