Browsing Tag

americana

Ami Leigh darkened Americana’s Door with the Luxe Beguile in Her Ground-breaking Single, Foretold ft Neil Gibson

Ami Leigh, hailing from County Durham, UK, has long been an aurally beguiling chameleon. Her latest single, Foretold, marks a striking foray into country rock, infused with the essence of Portishead and the chill of rock-licked post-punk.

Foretold is a poignant narrative of doomed love regaled through Leigh’s crystalline vocal lines. Her voice, imbued with soulful clarity, weaves through the hauntingly reimagined Americana soundscape, creating a contrast that is both striking and harmonious. The cold, instrumental chill she introduces strips the genre of its traditional warmth, yet the ensuing guitar solos ignite a familiar country rock fire. This juxtaposition is Leigh’s genius, offering a fresh, yet respectful nod to her influences, ranging from The Cure to Pink Floyd.

Neil Gibson’s contribution cannot be overlooked. His guitar work echoes the emotional turbulence of the song’s narrative while elevating the release and adding layers of complexity and familiarity, ensuring Americana aficionados won’t feel lost in the artfully arcane textures. Foretold doesn’t just belong to the country rock genre; it expands it.

If you have ever endured a relationship fated to meet an ugly demise and come out the other side imbittered by your own naivety, expect Foretold to hit hard as the guitars shimmer and the harmonies bring you to rapture.

Watch the official music video for Ami Leigh’s latest single on YouTube, add it to your Spotify playlists, or purchase the track on Apple Music.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Pauline Andres poured folk through a smoky Southern Gothic Lens with ‘Til the End of the World’

In a world teetering on the edge of uncertainty, Pauline Andres’ standout single, ‘Til the End of The World’, is an introspective goldmine of solace and melancholy. Born in France, the coal miner’s daughter has woven her diverse heritage and life’s tumultuous tapestry into a sound that pours folk through the sepia-tinged filter of Southern Gothic Americana.

Her voice regales through an amalgamation of sweet and smoky timbres while carrying the weight of an old soul, one that has seen the world in shades of grey while her life reads like a novel, rich with characters and experiences which bleed into her songwriting, inspired by everything from the candour of 3am drunks to Lovecraft.

With the end of days perpetually on our minds, there has never been a better time to tune into this stunningly rendered release which proves just how much beauty lies in humanity. We may not all be as superlatively talented as this highly-accoladed singer-songwriter, but within all of us lies a tender capacity for beauty; however that may manifest.

Turn away from your Patti Smith records and be consumed by Pauline Andres. Even if she was singing Acapella, she could send the airwaves out of kilter with the evocative gravity in this release.

Stream the Live in Studio version of Til the End of the World on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Matt Camillo – Stop to Look Around: A Transatlantic Synthesis of Americana-Tinged Folk-Rock and UK Indie

Matt Camillo’s seminal single, Stop to Look Around, is a striking synthesis of 90s-tinged UK Indie and American Folk Rock which proves that aged 23, the London-based singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist possesses a maturity in his music that belies his years.

The track resonates with the melodic influences of Travis, Stereophonics, and Beady Eye, evident in its steady indie rock chords. Yet, it’s the subtle infusion of Americana into the rhythmics that sets this song apart, creating an uplifting yet bittersweet sound that is quintessentially English in its melancholy.

Lyrically, ‘Stop to Look Around’ carries the essence of a love song, yet it’s imbued with a level of artistic ambiguity that allows listeners to find their own meaning within its verses. This narrative flexibility ensures that the track leaves a lasting impression, regardless of how one interprets it.

Camillo, who began composing music at 13 and has since dabbled in Electronica and Pop before settling into the singer-songwriter genre, shows a keen understanding of his musical influences. His experience, including opening for acclaimed acts like Never the Bride and playing at notable venues shines through in this single.

The song’s production balances simplicity with sophistication, allowing Camillo’s vocal delivery to take centre stage. The instrumentation supports without overpowering, creating a harmonious backdrop that complements the lyrical journey. As a precursor to his upcoming acoustic debut EP ‘(Would You) Believe?’, this track cements Camillo’s status as a rising star in the indie scene.

Stop to Look Around was officially released on February 9th. Stream the single on Spotify

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Jack Cade – The Glitter Around Your Eyes: Achingly Affecting Americana

Bewilderland by Jack Cade and the Everyday Sinners

If you always turn to Cohen, Waits and Nick Cave for sonic solace, redirect your quest for sanctity toward Jack Cade’s folk-meets-alt-country LP, Bewilderland.

His gruff baritone notes against Helen Muggeridge’s glassy-with-soul harmonies create a heart-wrenchingly sentimental dynamic in the standout single, The Glitter Around Your Eyes. Like all of the most affecting love songs, the alchemic feat of Americana lyrically locks into the minute details of affection to elucidate how deep in the veins the affection runs.

Around the bluesy guitar bends, honkytonk piano keys that give the track a touch of the 70s and the roots-wrapped tones as a courtesy of the slide guitar, the two vocalists portray a hesitant yet fervent testament of passion which reaches the epitome of compelling. Slow dance to it, cry your heart out to it as you mourn lost loves, or make it a playlist staple; whatever you do, don’t pass up on this timelessly touching serenade from the UK-hailing conduit of candour.

The Glitter Around Your Eyes was officially released on January 26th; stream the single and Jack Cade’s seminal LP, Bewilderland, on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

In Tune with Matt Camillo: An A&R Factory Exclusive Interview

Dive into the musical mind of Matt Camillo, where the echoes of Americana Folk-Rock blend with bitter-sweet indie melancholy. From the romantic balladry of his latest single ‘Stop to Look Around’ to his explorations across Funk, Jazz, and Post-Punk, Camillo’s narrative is as diverse as it is profound.

Discover the inspirations behind his debut EP, his evolution from a MIDI-tinkering teenager to a multifaceted musician, and his aspirations to impact the music world.

Matt Camillo, welcome to A&R Factory! We’d love to know a little more about your latest single, Stop to Look Around, what’s the story behind the single, and what do you hope listeners will take from it? 

“It was the last song I wrote for my debut EP. It was written very quickly with the intention of writing a romantic ballad, but it turned into this Americana Folk-Rock thing or something Jewel could have written, though I got told several times that it sounds like Oasis for some reason.

This song is basically about doing the best with what you’ve got here and now, but once it’s out in the world it’s not up to me anymore to attach a meaning. The listeners can literally do whatever they want with it.”

Is Stop to Look Around reflective of who you are as an artist or are there more multi-faceted sides that will become exposed in your future releases?  

“I wouldn’t use it to describe who I am musically, but I feel like it’s a good representation of my Folk-y side. The songs I’m working on right now span from Funk to Jazz to Post-Punk even though I’m still working hard to make these different styles match together when it comes to an EP or Album.”

When did you get into music, and how has your relationship with music changed since the creative spark first ignited your desire to create? 

 “I started at 13 years old just writing instrumentals with MIDI in my bedroom. Then the guitar and the piano entered the scene, and eventually I found my voice (literally!). It’s always a discovery, this music thing. Every time I feel like I’m comfortable with a certain style or approach then I tend to move to new territory, but I always feel I’m still proving something to that kid in the bedroom.”

With such a wide range of influences, was it hard to create your own sonic signature? 

“Doesn’t matter how hard I try to find that sound, I’ll never catch it. I’m more focused on what’s naturally gonna come out of my failed attempts. And that should be good enough, I guess.”

What was the first and last single that had a profound impact on you? 

“The first Coldplay record (and the first one I ever owned) changed my life and helped me to bring out that same bittersweetness I’ve always felt as a kid. More recently I fell in love with ‘Live At Montreux, 1976’ by Nina Simone. She represents everything that an artist should be. Farless, honest and passionate. But she managed to be even more than that. So, I’d say ‘Trouble’ by Coldplay and ‘I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free’ by Nina Simone.”

Where will your artistic journey take you next?  

“Right now I’m doing early attempts at my first album. Just experimenting and combining different worlds together until I feel something is moving. I’m taking my time. I’m giving way more space to the electric guitar, arrangements and production. Also messing around with my lower vocal range. It’s gonna be way different from what I already released, to say it short.”

If you could make one positive change with your music, what would it be? 

“I just want my music to help people connect more with reality and with who they really are or at least to offer them a new point of view.  Real music is so much more powerful than any other medium and that’s why the state of this industry is in such conditions.  Maybe I wanna prove that it can still free us or maybe I just wanna have my own fun. Music won’t stop tho.”

Stream Matt Camillo’s latest single, Stop to Look Around, on Spotify.

Interview by Amelia Vandergast

The West Midlands era fusionists, Three Mile Island, triumphed once again in ‘Sidearm’s House of Games’

What do you get if you mix 70s rock with Americana and add a dash of brashy and swaggering 90s Britpop? Hit play on the latest single, Sidearm’s House of Games, from Three Mile Island and find out for yourselves.

The uniqueness of the sonic imprint is far from the only achievement in this minefield of indie rock hooks, which proves how tight the West Midlands-hailing prodigal sons are despite their influential differences – each element gets room to breathe and transcend into something completely new in the release that proves that time isn’t always linear; multiple eras can exist cohesively under the sonic duress of those talented enough to amalgamate them.

Having garnered attention on BBC Sounds and Planet Rock Radio, ‘Sidearm’s House of Games’ is a testament to the band’s skill in crafting songs that are not only enjoyable but also resonate with a deep understanding of rock’s evolving landscape. It’s a compelling addition to the indie rock genre, highlighting the band’s potential to leave a lasting impact.

Sidearm’s House of Games is now available to stream on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast  

Lounna orchestrated the sound of spring into her indie-folk Americana release, Peak Season

Lounna

Lounna orchestrated the sound of spring into her latest indie-folk reverie, Peak Season; a single that resonates with the soul’s longing for renewal and connection.

The Pittsburgh-based multi-instrumentalist, drawing inspiration from the likes of Bear’s Den and First Aid Kit, infused her latest single, taken from her Garden for Winter LP, with a unique blend of indie, folk, Americana and naturalism, and signalled her departure from her more whimsical approach to songwriting from her debut. By delving into more profound themes of mental health, resilience, and hope. The single is a harmonious amalgamation of lyrical depth and orchestral richness, with crystalline vocal harmonies commanding the ensemble with an effortless grace.

The track opens with a melodic embrace that gently uplifts the listener, symbolising the shedding of winter’s weariness. Lounna’s voice, soothing yet potent, weaves through the instrumentation with a narrative that echoes candour and resounds through universal relatability.

The orchestral backdrop, carefully crafted with Slate’s collaborator Daniel Blake, adds a panoramic dimension to the song, allowing each instrument to converse and complement the vocals, rather than overpower them. Peak Season allows you to stand at the shores of your own introspection while washing over you as a cathartic release from the clutches of life’s darker moments. It’s a sublime feat of originality and expression, that has left us with bated breath to see what’s to come from Lounna.

Stream Peak Season from February 16th on Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Brian Berggoetz pulled the strings of the soul with his amorous Americana serenade, I Know I Love You

Brian Berggoetz

The Tuscan-hailing poet of the heartstrings, Brian Berggoetz, prepared his most affectingly tender love song to date for his Valentine’s Day release, I Know I Love You.

With hints of Springsteen within the cultivated charm of the folk-infused Americana release, I Know I Love You, which sees the serenader’s vocals coalescing with the duality conjured through female harmonies, is a timelessly captivating love song, which alludes to how Cupid’s arrows cut deep, especially when they bring insecurities and a sense of imperfection to the surface.

The musical arrangement is a masterclass in subtlety and crescendo. The folky strings rise and fall like the tides of emotion, each note becomes a heartbeat in the song’s narrative. The guitar strings ring with an assurance that draws listeners into the very core of this country folk serenade. It’s as if each strum is a call to explore the depths of our own hearts.

Berggoetz’s voice is the guiding light in this exploration of fallible, beautiful romanticism. His vocal delivery, imbued with a sense of both wisdom and wonder, captures the essence of a soul laid bare. I Know I Love You is a musical journey that promises to leave listeners both moved and inspired, eagerly anticipating the future chapters in Berggoetz’s evolving musical saga.

I Know I Love You will debut on Valentine’s Day; stream the single on Spotify.

Get better acquainted with Brian Berggoetz via his official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Phil Coomer prescribed love as a drug in his latest release, All the Medicine I Need

https://youtu.be/eNRKiL6PZT0?si=2dDJrrguCrbBzFlA

The folk-pop evocateur Phil Coomer used all his award-winning song-writing stripes to decorate his latest single, All the Medicine I Need, with a sense of sentimentality that will see your soul swell with gratitude for everyone who sweetens your world.

As the orchestral strings quiver, the tenderly fingerpicked acoustic guitar strings amplify the warmth spilling from Coomer’s folky Americana harmonies which shine with crystalline soul as they emanate the soft and intimate folk vocal style of the late 60s and carry the same affecting mesmerism of Nick Drake.

Even when artists pen their own material, it isn’t a given that they will orchestrate something original; there’s never any danger of assimilative pedestrianism when you slip into a Phil Coomer folk score; just how it is possible for a salve for the soul to feel so expressively raw is an alchemic paradox that stands as a testament to his songwriting virtuosity.

All the Medicine I Need will be available to stream and purchase on all major platforms from 05/06/2024. Until then, you can stream the music video on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Cat Rian conjured smoky Americana alchemy in her latest single, Read the Room

Cat Rian cast an arcanely bluesy spell in her latest synthesis of country, soul, pop, and feminine firepower, Read the Room. The Las Vegas singer-songwriter delivered a fatal shot to the kinds of protagonists who only get anywhere in life through manipulation. The demure, smoky refrain of “read the room, it’s the least you can do” is an olive branch of catharsis to anyone who has ever felt the frustration of dealing with someone with no boundaries or self-awareness to compel them to step away after the damage is done.

The flawless command of her sultry vocal lines atop the organic luxe grooves allows you to slip into an alchemic sonic experience; one which evokes a sense of emboldened empowerment. Read the Room is right on brand for Cat Rian. Who, along with fronting resident bands at notorious landmarks on the Las Vegas strip, has also teamed up with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, donated proceeds from her song, You are Strong, and headlined the Anti-Bullying School Tour.

As she continues to stake her claim in the industry, she’s determined to bring others to a position of power. She’s an icon in every conceivable way.

Read the Room will be able to stream on all major platforms from February 2nd. Stream it on here first.

Review by Amelia Vandergast