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Rivky – Hear Me, Mr. Honey: Plaintively Reflective Soul Pop with a Neo-Classical Twist

When you’ve got Amy Lee (Evanescence) backing and producing an artist’s music, it leaves little doubt that what you’re going to hear when you hit play is anything less than a mesmeric ethereal hit. Which is exactly what you are treated to from up and coming vocalist, lyricist, and pianist Rivky and her single “Hear Me, Mr Honey”.

The piano melody tentatively matched Rivky’s plaintively reflective lyrical style and jaw-droppingly expressive vocals whilst the cello layered the track with quivering, resounding energy. I couldn’t name another contemporary Pop vocalist to match the strength in her vocals, they quite literally have the ability to consume you when she’s hitting the soaring high notes. It wouldn’t surprise me if she could shatter glass

You can check out Hear Me, Mr Honey for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Also, I didn’t think that any rendition of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah still had the ability to make me cry, but Rivky seemed to manage it in her rendition which was recorded last year. Which you can listen to here.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Luke Sullivan Jones: A Folk Artist That Could Have Only Been Born in Brighton

Is it me, or does Brighton have a habit of breeding the best Acoustic Folk musicians in the UK?
The Levellers should prepare to make way for Luke Sullivan Jones if his latest single A Fire from the Dark is anything to go by. The singer songwriter’s style has a sweet aura of romanticism around it, the uplifting, visceral soundscapes come alive curtesy of his genius lyrical approach. The lyrics to A Fire from the Dark are abstract, conceptual and as poignant as I’ve heard in a long time from an acoustic artist. There’s no vapid introspection welcoming melancholy, instead there’s an ethereally cathartic sentimentality over the entire track. The lucid state of catharsis is only amplified by the use of the violin around the otherwise upbeat arrangement of instrumentals, and then there’s Luke’s voice which oozes amiable charisma all over the track. In short, there aren’t enough words to praise Luke’s deft ability as a recording artist, so, you’re probably going to have to check his sound out for yourselves.

A Fire from the Dark will be released shortly, in the meantime, head on over to Luke Sullivan Jones SoundCloud page to check out his earlier releases.

Connect with Luke via Facebook to ensure you never miss another new release.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Alex Golisti – St James Spanish Place: An Acoustic Harmony Which Will Haunt Any Nick Cave Fan

There are very few tracks as instantaneously sobering as Alex Golisti’s single St James Spanish Place, perhaps some of Richard Crawley’s earlier records, but god damn. To hear an emerging artist debut with such a polished pained sound is quite something.

The tentative piano melodies are matched with a winding Blues guitar progression to lay down an ambiently enthralling melody. You can’t help but be consumed by the reminiscence of Alex Golisti’s vocals with Nick Cave. I’m sure it’s a comparison that the artist is sick of hearing, but God damn it is uncanny. On top of the aural alchemy that went into Alex Golisti’s single, you’re also treated to viscerally resonant lyrics that will captivate you right until the moment St James Spanish Place fades out and you are left with the overwhelming desire to see what awaits you in the artist’s back catalogue. Luckily for me, there’s the debut 2017 EP ‘Rubicon’.

You can listen to Alex Golisti’s stunning debut single and the rest of his tracks for yourself by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms – Clot: If You Didn’t Think Folk Could Be Sultry, Think Again

Clot is the latest single from Pennsylvanian artist Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms. The single should probably come with a warning, the catharsis that inches its way through the progression is not suitable if you are driving or operating heavy machinery.

The first thing that will hit you is the acoustic instrumental arrangements which wouldn’t sound out of place in an Elliot Smith track and then there’s the artist’s sultry, Folk (yeah, I can’t believe I used those two words together either) vocals. I couldn’t quite help but be reminded of the vocal reminiscence to other quaintly expressive artists such as Bjork and Kate Bush. Yet, with a prodigal approach, instead of brash beats or aggrandized orchestrations you’re treated to cathartically intricate melodies which resist with resonance against any genre label you’d care to stick on the latest single. With elements of Dream Pop, Psych Rock and Indie you can be sure you’ll be treated to a smorgasbord of aural decadence.

You can check out Kali Ma and the Garland of Arms’ latest single Clot for yourselves by heading over to Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Living with Monsters – Jötunn: Concordantly Raw Folk

Jötunn is the second single from Living with Monsters which serves as poof of the pensive alchemic talent possessed by the two acoustic Folk artists behind the creation of the stunning release. In recent years ‘Folk’ has been adopted by every sad man with a guitar, yet the two guitarists who collectively created the rapturously decadent soundwaves have kept their style firmly rooted to folk. Which should be rather evident with the track name – for those not all too up on their Norse mythology a Jötunn is a creature which holds contrast to gods and other deities.

Mythology aside, the lyricism, sweetly soft vocal offerings and progressively, palpably upbeat melodies fuse together to create an absolute masterpiece of Acoustic Indie. If you’re not moved by Jötunn it’s safe to say you’re a little dead inside.

After listening to Jötunn I can only hope that Living with Monsters have many more skeletons in the closet that can to come to life as concordantly raw aural bliss. You can check out Living with Monsters latest single Jötunn for yourselves by heading over to Spotify; it’s not as scary as it sounds, I promise.

Review by Amelia Vandergast




Kaz – Fine: Pop Inspired Feel-Good Folk

Take all your expectations when it comes to Indie Acoustic Folk and throw them right out of the window, because Kaz’s latest acoustically driven masterpiece ‘Fine’ is like nothing you’d ever come to expect from the genre.

When an artist has the same harmonious tonality as the late and great Michael Jackson it’s hard not to imagine that they’ll go far. But what Kaz did with Fine, was create something conceptually beautiful. Fine may have been influenced by the King of Pop’s vocal style yet when he used it around rhythmically melodic acoustic Folk instrumentals he truly made the style his own.

There isn’t a flaw to be found within Kaz’s latest single, the vocalist, producer and audio engineer clearly had all bases covered when he set about making one of the most soul splintering tracks you’ve ever heard. The jangle Pop rhythms of the guitar lead the instrumentals through the mix which all weave together through perfect synergy. Then there’s the captivating lyrics which work to instil the feel-good vibes a little deeper with the repetition of ‘you’re fine’. I’m definitely now inclined to believe that I’m fine through Kaz’s aural reassurance.

You can check out Kaz’s music out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Hannah Campbell – Run Like Wolves: Empoweringly Uplifting Folk Alchemy

There aren’t many tracks that I would refer to as a masterpiece, yet, with Hannah Campbell’s latest single Run Like Wolves that almost sounds like an understatement.

With Run Like Wolves which was released July 6th the up and coming artist mixed it up from the traditional non-lexical vocables with her sultry howls amplifying the context and intent behind her latest single. Generally, you aren’t often treated to such sultry vocals from a Folk Singer Songwriter, yet Hannah Campbell is clearly not your archetypal artist. The inspiration from the track came from the novel ‘Women who Run with the Wolves’ which highlighted the fierce, powerful, nurturing nature of femininity. Because for anyone who hasn’t noticed, women aren’t having the best time ever right now – but as long as there are artists such as Hannah Campbell creating empoweringly beautiful tracks such as Run Like Wolves, I’d say it isn’t all too terrible. Hannah’s vocals are one thing, but the instrumentals are quite another. There’s a haunting, creeping instrumental resonance which bleeds over the rhythmically upbeat melody of Run Like Wolves, the jangly guitar dances through the chord progressions to create a viscerally captivating offering of Folk Alchemy.

You can check out Hannah Campbell’s latest single Run Like Wolves for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Man the Lifeboats – A Wasted Life: Intoxicatingly Raucous Folk

I’m not even sure the Levellers have the ability to put the amount of momentum in their Folk tracks as Man the Lifeboats did with their latest single A Wasted Life. There’s a sublime touch of Celtic Punk to the London based collective’s sound, so for any fans of the Dropkick Murphy’s, Frank Turner and the Pogues you’re going to absolutely love Man the Lifeboats upbeat anthemic Folk style.

If you get to the end of A Wasted Life without developing a taste for chaos, well, I kind of feel a little sorry for you. Their punchy style incorporates an array eclectic instruments, from the mandolin, to the penny whistle, the five-piece band have got it covered. Yet what I loved the most about A Wasted Life was the lyricist and vocalist Rich Quarterman’s ability to create and bring to life such a narrative portrait of euphoric revelry.

Whether you’re down and out or on top of the world, can check out A Wasted Life for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Ezra Foster – Misty Mountain: Viscerally Narrative Folk

As Folk singer songwriters go Ezra Foster is pretty much the whole package. With playfully inventive lyrics, the ability to create a dulcet yet uplifting melody and his enigmatic vocal offering you really couldn’t ask for more.

The Austin, US based artist’s latest single Misty Mountain which was released in April 2018 offers instantly cathartic rhythm which invites you to slip into the sonorous soundscape. Yet, what really sold Misty Mountain for me was that the lyrics weren’t just an apathetic offering of introspection. Ezra Foster’s narrative lyrical style creates a veraciously beautiful portrait in your mind, you know, like Folk music is intended to. Many contemporary ‘Folk’ artists may have forgotten the intention behind Folk, yet Ezra is still roots deep in the traditional style.

You can check Misty Mountain along with the rest of Ezra’s album ‘the Pace of Living’ for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now. Each one of the eight tracks carry their own brand of personably passionate emotion, by track eight, I can guarantee you’ll be in love with Ezra’s viscerally ethereal style.

Review by Amelia Vandergast


Mo Zowayed – Gypsy Queen: Quaint as Folk

It would seem that any musician capable of playing a few chords dubs themselves as a Folk artist these days. Yet it is artists such as Mo Zowayed that proves just what Folk should sound like.

The acoustic singer songwriter has dug deep in the roots of Folk to recreate those incandescently uplifting vibes that you just can’t resist being enveloped by. Mo Zowayed’s vocals are simultaneously raw and polished which means that you’re treated to a resonant vocal offering which brings the sweetly penned lyrics to life. The use of the strings within the instrumental mix was an excellent move to make the track more than just one man and his guitar. With his captivating approach to Bluegrass I have no doubt that the artist will come to be universally adored.

More than anything it was the sentiment behind Gypsy Queen which really moved me. We’ve all encountered people who put up an icy wall for self-preservation, but could anyone ever possibly resist Mo Zowayed’s playful demolition of their façade?

You can check out Mo Zowayed’s latest single Gypsy Queen on SoundCloud now; any fans of the Levellers will be absolutely in heaven with this track. Gypsy Queen was just one of the stunning singles from the Folk artists latest EP ‘the New York Times’.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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