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Music

Home Town Marie – Take Me Back: Bringing Country into the Contemporary

If you have an inclination towards pensive Blues accompanied by punchy Pop offered by the Country genre then you really can’t go wrong from Home Town Marie’s latest track Take Me Back which was released April 12th, 2018.

As you listen to the prelude you almost settle into the complacency of ingesting an archetypal country track, but just wait for the chorus which will demonstrate how succinctly Country has slipped into the 21st century with this blissful rendition of soulfully raw Country which integrates elements of Pop, Rock & Blues. The jangly up-beat riffs of the guitar paired to the infinitely charismatic vocals offer an aural experience that really isn’t to be sniffed at. I have no doubt that if Home Town Marie continues to make orchestrations as poignant and beautiful as Take Me Back he won’t struggle to gain much deserved international acclaim. The instrumental and vocal talent paired with the intense lyricism bowled me over before I could even get to the chorus.

You can check out Home Town Marie’s latest track Take Me Back for yourselves on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Drakeford – Stronger Than One: Bewitching Country Blues

Usually, I’ll listen to music from husband and wife duos with gritted teeth, yet, there’s just something about Drakeford as I found out by immersing in the audio pleasure of checking out their latest single Stronger Than One. Their synergetic Folk Country soundscape is as compelling as it gets. Whilst Drakeford pulls most of the vocal focus in their latest single, the resonance created by Lucy-Jayne’s backing vocals creates an ethereally creeping harmony which really amplifies the sentimentality of the lyrics. Because let’s face it, most of the time, husband and wife duos create tracks that are just a little bit smug. Drakeford went in a completely different direction by using lyricism designed to empower pretty much anyone and everyone and God damn, I love them for it.

Taking inspiration from artists such as Jon Foreman, Jason Mraz and Gungor, the matrimonial duo created a timeless sound which sits perfectly in the contemporary Acoustic Folk Pop arena.

Stronger Than One is just one of the standout singles you can expect to hear from Drakeford’s upcoming release ‘The Venture’ which will be available to download & stream across all major platforms from June 8th, 2018.

Keep up to date with the stunning pair’s latest releases by giving them a follow on Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Luanne Hunt & Steven Bankey – Lightning in a Bottle: A Little Bit of Indie Country & A Mountain of Rock n Roll

Has there ever been a more Country name for a track than Lightning in a Bottle? I think not. And it’s absolutely glorious. Even those whose tastes aren’t entrenched within the Country genre there’s so much for music fans to appreciate. For one, there’s the blissfully plucked acoustic guitar that wouldn’t be out of place in the Brian Setzer’s Orchestra. The use of the piano keying in the background gives Lightning in a Bottle an irresistible Rock n Roll allure that you’d have to be pretty musically unacclimated not to appreciate.

You can check out the blissful duet which was released March 8th, 2018 on SoundCloud, where you can also find Luanne reinventing classically iconic hits such as ‘When You Say Nothing At All & more. The songstress’ empoweringly bewitching vocals aren’t a sound you’ll want to miss. Her empyreal vocals haven’t got her to number one in Independent Country Charts for no reason!

You can find out more about Luanne Hunt and her iridescently bright career on her official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Jed and Clair Senca – Always Have: Couples That Play Together Stay Together

Is there anything cuter than a Husband & Wife Country duo? I suppose cats can be pretty cute, but nothing matches the pure evocative wonder of the sounds created by Jed and Clair Senca.

Always Have is the first single from their debut EP ‘Re-ignited’ which was released in February 2018. They certainly don’t like to scratch at the surface of superficiality with their sounds. The couple deliver positive thought-provoking sounds about love, relationships and marriage. There’s something blissfully empowering about Clair Senca’s domineering vocal ability that is capable of moving you into a whole new dimension. The couple are no strangers to the music scene; they first received the attention of A&R representatives in 1993 before taking their talent all across America.

Their classic rhythmic country sound is rooted into the traditional soul melodies of the original icons. Clair’s soaring vocals match against Jed’s backing vocals and guitar rhythms is a sound that you’re going to have to check out for yourselves. The synergy of the track is just unreal.

Check out the official music video to Always have on YouTube

To find out more about the power couple and keep up to date with new releases head on over to their website for more info.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The Jake Ash Band – Bad Karma: A Masterpiece of Country Melancholy

With piercing melodic harmonies wrapped up in pensive apathy this track is the perfect cocktail of empyreal sadness and sonorous sounds held up by the talent that The Jake Ash Band exudes. Their latest track Bad Karma from their latest album Quick Jab is a sweet sad rendition of deep Country Blues, steeped in the same kind of sadness that you’d expect from a Charles Bukowski poem.

As a complete nihilist, I couldn’t help but love the track that comes with the tagline ‘what happens when alcohol is your only friend’. We’ve all been there, now we’ve got a sweet soundtrack to our apathy. Thanks to the violin against the salt & pepper Country instruments the harmony which resonates within you in parts is just overwhelming. The lyrics are something else entirely, the raw, evocative narration of disdain completes the pure sound of the Boston based outfit who have a beautiful way of putting a sharp Rock edge to add yet another dynamic to their radio-ready sound.

Check out The Jake Ash Band’s track Bad Karma on SoundCloud using the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/the-jake-ash-band/bad-karma

Follow The Jake Ash band on Facebook

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Natalie Jean & Levi Moore – The Letting Go: Pure Contemporary Country Synergy

Natalie Jean’s creative rap sheet is nothing but impressive, so it should have come as no surprise that her latest track ‘The Letting Go’ was a blindingly beautiful country track. She kept all of the beguiling roots of her sound yet mixed it up to pave her own way through the Country genre. For her latest track Natalie Jean teamed up with Levi Moore, and it may be the best duet since Nick Cave & Kylie Minogue in Where The Wild Roses Grow. Levi Moore’s gruff yet soulful vocal style is what really made this track for me. There’s such a contrast between Jean’s beautifully empowering, yet sweetly romantic vocals and Levi’s loveable drawl, that you can’t help but get caught up in the synergy that the two have created.

Natalie Jean is a Kensington, US based singer and song writer who has been a successful recording artist since 2013 and has dabbled in many different genres, from Dance to Heavy Metal, but it’s tracks like The Letting Go that make it evident that her vocal home lies within Contemporary Country Blues.

Check out the sensational duet in action over on SoundCloud using the link below:

https://soundcloud.com/natnat7-1/the-letting-go

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

M U S T A N G – Walk Away: Majestically Raw Southern Rock

The up and coming Alt Indie band M U S T A N G has just dropped their first piece of acoustically grunge, majestically raw piece of sweet Americana early January, 2018 to the sound of old blues guitars, poignantly charismatic vocals and some blinding instrumental sections in an Alt Indie Folk Rock styling.  The vocal progression which you are treated to throughout this track is astonishingly, the vocalists moves from the sensual curve of Aerosmith to the melancholy of Glenn Hansard. The bass line throws its impossibly tight beat behind the track, pulling you further and further into the soul of this anthemic hit.

With their debut track M U S T A N G have created a soulful melody, with heart wrenching emotion, that is quite literally palpable. The pace of Walk Away is so subduing and melancholic, you feel it ringing in your ears as the track draws to a close after 5 whole minutes of audio bliss. I can’t wait to hear what M U S T A N G cook up in an album as they continue introducing Southern Rock into a new arena.

Check out the debut single Walk Away on Spotify now:

https://open.spotify.com/track/1NhbCOQf9w74ZMkNe6cRiU

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Uncategorised

Tod Pronto – Hide Away from the Sun: A Cocktail of Shady Blues infused with American Folk

Hide Away from the Sun is the title track to Tod Pronto’s latest debut album, in which the Folk Singer Songwriter truly brings the genre back to its roots. His resounding sounds flood through his latest release off his debut album; ‘Hide Away (From the Sun) containing his eclectic mix of old school Folk sounds for any audiophile’s delight. If you’re a fan of the contemporary folk enigmas such as Glen Hansard, Jake Bugg & Ray Lamontagne, you’ll want to revel in his sonorously dulcet folk composition Hide Away from the Sun that features the gentle keys of the piano around the iconic acoustic guitar rhythms and melodies. It’s probably the best anti-summer hit that you will hear this year, a fair reminder that everyone loves the sun, Tod Pronto is proud to help you revel in the apathy of sunlight with his Blues Folk rendition of Hide Away from the Sun. There’s that charismatic down and out aura over Tod Pronto, his American Singer-songwriter charm is infectious when infused with the perfect cocktail of Americana, Alt Country and Folk.

You can check out Hide Away from the Sun via SoundCloud:

https://soundcloud.com/tod-pronto/hide-away-from-the-sun-1?in=tod-pronto/sets/hide-away-from-the-sun

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

The Party is Over ? Anything but!

Country music can often seem to be full of predictable pitfalls and calculated cliche, a tried, tested and popular genre which sometimes uses that comfort zone to play it safe. But away from the rhinestones and glitter of Music City’s main thoroughfares there are artists who paint very different pictures even whilst using the same palette of musical colours.

Morgan Wade & The Stepbrothers explore wonderful new ways of blending the genre with contemporary rock and even some deft pop hooks and mainstream sensibilities. The result is a song built of sweeping country rock guitars, rich harmonies and a mix of confident riffs, poetic lyrics and clever musical detail, and an accessibility which will have the most fervent pair of country boots stepping and stomping but which will also get the pop sneakers on the move too.

The Party Is Over from their debut album Puppets With My Heart, conforms enough for the purists to love it but still manages to break enough rules for the new wave of alt-country and roots rock fans to find much to their tastes. The Party is Over ironically that when it comes to a new lease of life for country music, the party has only just begun.

Music

Lyn Avenue Releases Authentically Country Song “Kentucky Bourbon”

Lyn Avenue is a duo project based in Savannah, Georgia with a very characteristically unique sound. Combining their southern influences and backgrounds with elements of Country music and Folk, the result is one of a kind. This  is no surprise though. The band already has a series of achievements in their biography and their music just keeps getting better and better along the years! “Kentucky Bourbon,” their latest release, is not only very well written and performed but it also has a music video with a whole lot of character to accompany it as well!

This song definitely doesn’t fail to create a lasting impression. This is not just a tune for Country music lovers because it can literally be enjoyed by anyone and everyone. With a very catchy chorus, excellent song structure, rich vocals and driving instrumentation, the song has all it takes to become a hit. As the song starts with the chorus it immediately immerses the listener in the fun atmosphere that it is very able to create. The bright vocal ton and driving playful guitar sonorities just keep pushing the music forward while delivering a truly authentic sound and creating a great atmosphere. “Kentucky Bourbon” is simply one of those songs that without any shadow of a doubt will make you feel good!

-Sarah Marie Bugeja

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