Browsing Tag


Charlie Diamond’s Melodies Are Blowing in the Wind in His Latest Release, ‘New York’s Been Good to Me’

Charlie Diamond’s latest single, New York’s Been Good to Me, is a striking homage to the classic folk era, echoing the raw, unfiltered essence of Bob Dylan with its old-school production and soulful harmonica blows. Diamond, whose life reads like an adventure novel brings a unique authenticity to his music. His experiences, including hiking the Appalachia trail and musing in solitude, infuse his songwriting with a depth that resonates deeply.

The song paints a vivid, panoramic picture of New York City, reminiscent of Tom Waits’ wistful storytelling. Diamond’s lyrics and melody transport listeners to the bustling streets of the city, capturing the inviting yet overwhelming paradox of New York and portraying the city as a character in itself, whose acquaintance isn’t for the faint of introverted heart.

The singer-songwriter’s belief in his anachronistic reincarnation adds a layer of timelessness to the track which bridges decades for ample cross-generational appeal. If you lament living this timeline too, find ample solace by hitting play and taking a journey through the eyes of a troubadour who has lived a life as colourful and varied as the landscape he sings about in this nostalgic escapism-aiding release.

Stream New York’s Been Good to Me on YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The soulfully-funked hues in Jeremy Hilliard’s single Lay Down Like Lovers captured the haze of utopic affection.

Taken from his LP, which is rooted in swathes of nostalgic funk and soul, Trouble for Another Day, singer-songwriter, Jeremy Hilliard’s standout folky neo-jazz pop single, Lay Down Like Lovers, is a fitting ode to the serenity of passion. The dreamy hues capture the haze of unconditionally all-consuming love as the groove pockets deliver oceanic depth, ensuring Lay Down Like Lovers is a release you can fully immerse yourself in.

If you can’t get enough of the lyrically driven song-crafting finesse of Paul Simon, Kurt Vile, Neil Young and Bob Dylan, you will be instantly enamoured with the poetically mellifluous beguile within Lay Down Like Lovers, which is hopefully the first of many hits from the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, who is coming into his own away from his successful band, PEAK, which has made America’s Northeast their touring circuit.

Stream Lay Down Like Lovers on Spotify and Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Susan Ritchie lit a beacon of tranquillity and wisdom in ‘It’s High Time’

Susan Ritchie, whose name has become synonymous with authentic artistry on the Central CA Coast, lit a beacon of tranquillity and wisdom in the standout single, It’s High Time, taken from her debut album, Life is for the Living. So much more than solely a musical score, it’s a journey into the heart of what it means to find peace and meaning amidst the chaos of modernity.

Ritchie gave the adage ‘live and let live’ brand-new potency within It’s High Time by speaking chapter and verse on how it takes nothing to accept trans men and women who are just looking to align their minds with their appearance. Her ability to weave everyday experiences into her songwriting, while giving a nod to the universal experiences we all share, is on full display here. The song is a reminder to pause, reflect, and embrace the moment, a message that resonates now more than ever when it is too easy to be consumed by the insanity which breeds on every corner of the internet.

The influence of her early inspirations, from James Taylor’s finger-picking to the sweet yet sassy blues of Bonnie Raitt, is evident in the song’s composition. Yet, It’s High Time is unmistakably a Susan Ritchie creation. It’s a song that showcases her evolution as an artist, blending soul, blues, rock, and folk into a seamless and captivating experience.

Regardless of how many people find comfort in Susan Ritchie’s soulfully sonorous sound, she speaks directly to you through the intimacy of her lyrics and the magnetically powerful delivery of her gilded-in-introspective-gold lines.

Stream It’s High Time on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Cenzontle’s fusionist sound is sweeter than ‘Nectar’ in their latest seminal Latin folk release.

After enchanting audiences under the GlowStone Leaf Orchestra banner and producing 13 albums that weave a tapestry of profound narratives and complex harmonies, the delectably talented Berlin-based artist, Jorge Hernandez, who has been honing his rhythmic and raconteurial crafts for over a decade stepped into a new ensemble when he assembled the three-piece Cenzontle with Lucie Nana and Kim Kong in 2019.

Monikers don’t come much more apt than Cenzontle, which translates to “400 voices”; it is a nod to the Mexican heritage of Hernandez and the multi-layered essence of his work, which breaks the monocultural mould while proving music is a universal language.

The eponymous LP, which hit the airwaves earlier this year is an opportunity for immersion in a captivating fusion of traditional Latin American Folk and electrifying Rock, delivered with a digital twist. Whether you delve into the vibrant recording or witness the emotional and innovative depth via the live performance of the standout single, ‘Nectar’, you’re sure to be stirred by the spiritually transcendent experience which solidifies Cenzontle’s position at the forefront of genre-bending music exploration.

Stream the Cenzontle LP on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

aimée became the queen of quiescence with her superlatively stripped single, Poison

Irish singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer aimée is no stranger to euphonic etherealism; with her latest single, Poison, she reached the pinnacle of dreamy, decadent-with-soul art-pop. Like a sonic intravenous shot of intoxication, the single unravels through complex time signatures the choral consolation of her glassy vocal lines and a sense of quiescence which allows the track to deliver all-consuming catharsis.

After receiving plaudits from BBC Introducing, YEO Magazine, and airplay from Northern Ireland’s biggest radio station, aimée has been making major strides with her beguilingly pure sound that remains untarnished by the serious accolades. There’s a real sense that there’s no room for ego in her explorations of the beauty of life and the ache of heartbreak.

Following a string of sold-out shows at some of the most iconic venues in Dublin and Belfast, the songstress has relocated to London to work alongside some of the country’s top producers on her forthcoming singles and form her six-piece band, which is set to take her live performances to the next level.

Stream Poison on SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Settle in for a ‘Long Hard Winter’ with Ben Brooks’ Americana Folk single, ft EG Vines

If you can already feel Seasonal Affective Disorder kicking in, sink into the latest single, Long Hard Winter, by the Americana folk raconteur Ben Brooks.

Created in collaboration with EG Vines, the meta single cleverly runs in the parallels between the winter phases of our lifetimes and the bitterly cold season which leaves serotonin in short supply; both of which leave us yearning for the spring and summer of youth and the warmth that allows the trees to blossom.

With a sonic style as arrestingly affecting as Bob Dylan and Neil Young, Ben Brooks, who has recently found his voice and inspiration again post-Covid, is perceptibly back in his stride. This bitter-sweet earworm will undoubtedly become a great source of comfort for many as the leaf litter thickens and days darken. Even though it was written during the hardest winter during the pandemic, it’s a smorgasbord of sun-toned soul.

Stream Long Hard Winter on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Grainne Eve paid a poignant homage to Sam Henry with her cover of ‘Maid of Culmore’

Taken from Grainne Eve’s debut album, The Songs of Sam Henry, the standout orchestral folk single, Maid of Culmore, is so much more than a narrative tale; the inexplicably anachronistic arrangement conjures panoramic imagery to ensure you’re not solely looking at a portrait of the lyrical protagonist, you are in the landscape within her, completely abstracted from the 21st century.

The debut LP is just a scratch on the surface of the Portstewart, Northern Ireland-hailing folk singer-songwriter’s lifelong mission to understand and pay homage to the legacy of the folklorist and ballad crafter Sam Henry, who was integral to the preservation of Northern Irish folk tradition. Grainne Eve is currently in the final stages of writing her PhD, which focuses on Henry’s vast folk collection after completing a BA and MA in Music at Newcastle University.

‘The Songs of Sam Henry’ made its official debut on July 8th, 2022, at the Riverside Theatre in Coleraine. The album launch event was graciously introduced by the renowned TV presenter Joe Mahon. It was also presented live on Raidio Failte as part of the Belfast TradFest 2022 and received airplay on BBC Radio Ulster. Notably, ‘The Songs of Sam Henry’ earned a nomination for the NI Music Prize in 2022. Here’s to hoping we hear plenty more from Eve in the not-too-distant future.

Stream Maid of Culmore on Spotify and find out more about the exemplary artist and aural academic by visiting her official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Gain a lesson in virtue with Cagri Raydemir’s Absence of Patience

Taken from the four-track EP, Absence, which extolls the virtues of patience, candour, courtesy and tolerance, the opening single, Absence of Patience, featuring Julian Hesse on trumpet, is some of the Munich-based singer-songwriter and producer, Cagri Raydemir’s finest work to date.

After teasing a post-punk atmosphere in the intro, exotic folk nuances begin to weave their way into the progressively avant-garde production before Cagri Raydemir’s vocals become a magnetic centrepiece in the sonic pool of beguile. Imagine Serj Tankian turning his talents to folkish prog rock, and you will get an idea of the organic alchemy caged within this exemplary feat of artistry.

12 LPs and 7 EPs down, it is safe to say the qualified recording engineer and artist has honed his sound and his ability to bring lyrical concepts which explore the human condition to life within his soundscapes. We can’t wait to hear what he conjures next.

The Absence EP was officially released on October 16th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Let the sun hit with Kristen Beckwith’s soul-affirming release, Hawaii

After a three-year break from her music career, the singer, songwriter, musician, and producer Kristen Beckwith signalled her strident return with her open love letter to the Ocean in her Grammy-worthy soul-pop release, Hawaii.

With the autumnal timing of the sun-worshipping single, which carries *all* the mesmerism of Fast Car, the fondness for tropic climates feels a little bitter-sweet, but in the very same vein, it will instil you with the recent nostalgia for memories made before the cold started to creep in. As you listen to the warmth in her radiant vocal and acoustic guitar melodies, anticipate Polaroids from the past few months to flood to the surface of your consciousness.

Hawaii is the first single to be released from Kristen’s sophomore LP, which was penned following the birth of her child. Don’t wait to put mindfulness and living in the moment more on your New Year’s resolutions; start now with the Salt Lake City songstress’ lyrical and rhythmic enlightenment.

Hawaii hit the airwaves on October 20; get your sun and serotonin fix by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

TuskHead blurred the boundaries between acoustic pop-punk and folk in ‘Breaking the Man’

The boundaries between Americana, acoustic pop-punk and folk blurred beyond recognition in the rhythmically arresting latest single, Breaking the Man, by the Dutch musician, singer, and songwriter TuskHead.

With the bends of bluegrass weaving around the pull of the percussion, which won’t fail to awaken your rhythmic pulses and the lyrics, which sting with vulnerable volition, Breaking the Man is a hard lyrical pill to swallow, but the upbeat rhythmics take some of the sting from the deeply relatable pensiveness, allowing it to unravel as a cathartic olive branch to anyone unwilling to do the same and make the admission of ‘I’m not alright’.

Asking the time-old question, “how can you love me if I hate myself” and alluding to the fight from within that pills can salve but can’t solve, the heartache with the world is heart-wrenchingly affecting.

Breaking the Man was officially released on October 13th; stream it on Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast