I’ve finally found an Americana artist who creates a sound that resonates within me. Maxwell James’ approach to Americana Rock is amongst one of the most contemporary variations of the (lets face it, tired) sound. His vocals pack so much charisma, it’s hard not to desperately get caught up in the narrative of his latest single The More You Say, The Less I Know. I could imagine that Maxwell’s latest single sounds like what the Beatles would have sounded like if they originated in the South of America. Praise doesn’t get much higher than that from a Beatles fan. Alongside his absolute powerhouse of instrumentalists that include B3 Organ, Electric Piano and Electric Lap Steel Guitar players, Maxwell James lay down his sonorously blissful sound that could have only originated from an artist deep in Tennessee Roots.
You can check out Maxwell James’ new single The More You Say, The Less I Know which was released on March 20th, 2018 on SoundCloud now as part of his debut EP
Review by Amelia Vandergast
I grew up on the iconic sounds of 90’s female Pop acts; Texas, Garbage, Catatonia and The Cranberries to name a few. So, when I checked out the fresh new track Original Lies by the sensational Pop act Tekla Waterfield I was blown away by the nostalgia that is entrenched in the sound. She has a unique sensibility to her vocal style, however her vocal range is somewhat reminiscent to one of my favourite current artists Courtney Barnett. Yet it’s clear, that Tekla Waterfield is more than any sound that has been orchestrated before. The singer songwriter found her own essence within her poignantly palpable harmonies which she’s infused with the roots of her Seattle sound. Her sounds tend to bounce between Folk, Jazz, Indie and Blues through her discography proving that she’s one of the most eclectically talented underground artists around today.
With Original Lies, Tekla has created an anthemically catchy Pop hit, complete with an irresistibly catchy chorus that even Kim Gordon would give 5 stars.
Check out the sensational Pop hit Original Lies on SoundCloud:
Review by Amelia Vandergast
As soon as I hit play on the Ragged Few’s latest single You Better Run I was reminded of a simpler time, when sound was sonorous without any effects, reverb, or general plasticity. Instead You Better Run celebrates the roots of the sound with infinite respect to the idols that proceeded the Folk Acoustic Americana band from Kansas City, US. The contemporary twist to the timeless Americana sound is sure to go down a treat with pretty much every Folk aficionado who is lucky enough to stumble across it. The angular instrumentals create an ethereally lifting sensations whilst the Ragged Few’s vocalist provides some low down and dirty raucous rock synergy through the mic. The smack of the double bass, the twang of the mandolin and the soar of the fiddle create one of the most glorious cacophonies of crooning Rock n Roll your ears have been treated to in a long time.
If that all sounds up your street head on over to SoundCloud where you can check out the Ragged Few’s March 2018 release You Better Run
To download music from the Ragged Few head on over to their website.
Review by Amelia Vandergast
If you imagined Morrissey on happy pills, you might get a taste of how glorious Franklin Gotham’s new single Soldier On is. The three-piece band’s sweet Americana Acoustic Rock anthemic style doesn’t take long to win you over. Not with the ethereally light Johnny Marr-esque guitar strumming that keeps this track lifted along with the vocalists Alt Country style vocals. Indie Folk really doesn’t get sweeter than Soldier On. Usually, I find uplifting music rather abrasive and almost crass, yet, Soldier On is so raw and genuine, it’s almost certain to break the coldest of ice queens (and kings?) I’m not sure if it was intentional, but the opening riff is straight-up R.E.M. Losing My Religion, but I’ll forgive Franklin Gotham anyway for creating a masterpiece of a track.
Soldier On is the debut single from Franklin Gotham’s latest Alternative album All We Have is Now which was first released in December, 2017.
You can check out & download Soldier On along with the rest of Franklin Gotham’s 2017 album on BandCamp
Keep up to date with Franklin Gotham’s melodic masterpieces & news by following the band on Facebook
Review by Amelia Vandergast
Paradise Outlaw’s self-titled 2016 album is one that criminally never received the notoriety which it deserved. The Grand Rapids, Michigan based collective is comprised from an absolute powerhouse of talent from the rhythmal instrumentalists Kevin Langeland (guitar), Kyle Gifford (guitar), Nathan Vredeveld (drums), John Johnson (bass), and Colin Tobin’s grittily soulful vocal ability.
Wastin’ the Day has to be by standout favourite track from the album, the palpable rhythm bleeds pure Americana roots synergy whilst Tobin’ pertains to his iconic gruff sensibility around crystal clear keyboard arrangements that throw you back in time. Paradise Outlaws pioneering sound taps into warm vintage melodies and serve as a breath of fresh air against all of the superficially brash Rock that currently clogs the soundwaves. I have no doubt if the Southern Rock legends continue to produce such blissful Country Rock & Roll, they’ll be up their icons of the genre.
The 11 track album is now available to listen to on Spotify using the link below:
You can show Paradise Outlaw some love by following the band on Facebook:
Review by Amelia Vandergast
This song can reach down into the pit of your stomach and wrench it with the veracity of your fist kiss behind the bike sheds. J R Harbidge’s charismatic vocal ability is just everything you need to hear at this time of the year. We’re swamped with crass sentimentality throughout the festive season, which is exactly why you should listen to his debut track which was brought out on 10th December. J R Harbidge undoubtedly has the potential to see himself through to the number one spot with his melodic prowess and command of minimalistic style.
This folk singer songwriter, has the ability to weave through his pensive style to make some of the most down to earth sounds through his acoustic unchained guitar melodies that twinge with some old school rhythm and blues familiarity.
The production and styling is absolutely flawless, a well rounded track for anyone looking for a little bit of Acoustic Singer Song Writer Soul to add to their playlists.
This song is pretty tame compared to the tracks on his album teaser, either way, I can’t wait to hear what Harbridge has in store!
Check out J R Harbidge’s debut track on the SoundCloud link below:
One month after the initial release of DreamTaun, the fresh new single from Ekaterine Music and we’re still revelling in the absolute masterpiece of this sonorous sound. With its wholesome hints of Country, Americana, Electro-Pop, Funk and Ska DreamTaun has the momentum of a thousand wild horses.
The track progresses with Ska tones reverberating from the guitar with transient slips of melody from the verse to the chorus. The track has an angelic aura about it twined with the exuberance of one of the most confident women that you’ve ever had the pleasure of listening to expressing herself in a midst of raucous energy. The sound dominates its sweet euphoric vibe. The vocals are as clear as glass fracturing into a thousand pieces through the rhythm of this track. Ekaterine Music is the new musical venture from visionary Moscow born singer song writer Ekartine Goglidze whose music soon caught the attention of the BBC. In 2016, she was invited to perform her original material in the live sessions. She’s a woman of astounding grace and stunning talent.
Check out her new single DreamTaun on the SoundCloud link below:
Make sure you also check out her website & social media, once you get a taste of her sound, you’re going to want to get acquainted with her.
Some songs make you wait for the payoff and are all the more effective for it. A David Gilmour solo just isn’t the same without the bitter anticipation that drags us there. The art of letting a song build without putting half the audience to sleep is a worthy endeavor. People forget how dynamic the greats were when we fixate too much on how loud they eventually got. Blind Atlas knows how to use silence and let their instrument layers breathe during verses. Their song Space Americans is a performance that’s intimate and welcoming for anyone passing by, all the while hiding the true nature of their potential energy.
When you’ve finally become enthralled in the shallow, minimalist mix of the song, you feel as if you’ve been slowly pulled out to sea by an ever-pulling tide. This is when the party finally starts and you’re abruptly hit by wave after wave of fast-paced rock instrumentation that does feel like a callback to those awesome louds and highs of some of rock’s greatest. This masterful use of dynamics energizes the song in an infectious way. Even when you know the push is coming, you still find yourself settling into the softer side of the song every time.
Oftentimes, in today’s fast paced world, we tend to think that the groovier and catchier a song is, the better, but in this case Head Cheerleader’s “Murderers” shows us something which makes that thought process very questionable. This song, which features a very slow tempo, a set of concise yet deep lyrics and a particularly melancholic melody brings out the beauty in both artistic and emotional rawness which only a well thought out song like this could portray. While expressing a certain amount of sensitivity through the music and the words this song is also very thought provoking yet soothing at the same time, with its gentle tempo and instrumental arrangement.
The music backdrop itself is highlighted by a very warm organ tone which brings out further the meaning of the lyrics and allows the narrative to unfold, yet past the midpoint of the song the lyrics are left to sink in through a repeated melody which allows the listener to just feel the sensations created by the music and just reflect on the lyrics. The vocal tone itself is also a strong characteristic, giving the music that authentic country and folk sound which colours the narrative so well. With their song “murderers,” Head Cheerleader have truly created a space where one can just stop, and enjoy the beauty and rawness in their music.
-Sarah Marie Bugeja
America is more than diversity and pride and celebration. America is physically vast and this is often overlooked from the tight quarters of a dense city. This is why people truly love Americana. It is a musical style that maintains storytelling as a focus with specific themes borrowed from poetry and art that culminate in something that always feels simple and familiar despite all it can encompass. In the case of The Television of Cruelty, it borrows from several places. Orchestral awe and psychedelic influences creak in and out of a story of travel.
What makes this song stand out among similar peers is definitely the feeling of travel that’s embedded in the mix itself. There are times when you can hear the crowd and other times when you can swear the singing is studio-based. For all we know, this song was recorded in a car while quietly driving down a highway. There is a very pure sense of distance covered by the end of the track. For a song about traveling companions, it’s fitting that one feels as if they’ve arrived somewhere different than when the song began. Road Movie is a trip worth taking again and again.