One of the challenges facing the singer-songwriter, voice and guitar driven song is how to get noticed against the modern background of musical noise. Not noticed in the bombastic, U2 stadium rock sense but by knowing how to take these simple elements and lift them off the musical page, make them sound robust and accessible, set them apart from the pack. Some do it by deft and intricate guitar work, layering vocals, production tricks and other gimmickry. Mike Green does it mainly by writing great songs and delivering them with competence and confidence.
It seems pretty obvious really, why dress a song up to create some sort of pretend elegance when you can strip it back to actual eloquence? And Always is eloquent, in a solid and dependable sort of way, a combination of keeping things simple, though far from simplistic, and that fantastic, emotive voice of his. Letting the music breath and the vocals soar, a vocal which seems to blend romance and honesty and a soulfulness with a delivery that most rock singers would kill for. Get the basics right and sometimes the rest will just naturally fall into line.
Welsh Folk singer songwriter Sally Crosby has a unique twee aura around her music that pertains the same attitude as Kate Nash but the styled sensibility of more traditional female Folk vocalists. She’s mixed up her acoustic sound with the marmite of all musical instruments; the ukulele, personally ever since I heard Noah and the Whale I can’t get enough of the upbeat rhythms and harmonies that are exuded from the fragile percussion. The Welshpool based Indie singer songwriter and multi-instrumentalist can not only express herself with 7 different instruments, but she can blow us all away by doing so.
Her debut track; I’m Not Ready is just one of the standout tracks from the stunning singer’s latest EP ‘All I Seem To Know Is How To Write Songs About You’ which was released in January 2018. Her breathy, fractured vocals have massive potential. She can already count herself up there with some of my favourite Welsh artists such as The Manic Street Preachers, El Goodo & Catatonia. Sally has already received airplay through BBC Radio 6 after they discovered her delectable sounds.
You can check out I’m Not Ready on SoundCloud using the link below:
Galaxy Traveller is just one of the sensational new tracks off New York based multi-instrumentalist and singer song writer Graz’s debut album. This isn’t a compliment that I give lightly, but the stand out track ‘Galaxy Traveller’ is probably one of the finest space related tracks since David Bowie’s Starman.
The instrumental sections show just how serious Graz is when it comes to his music, with raucously rattling jingles that would make Johnny Marr jealous. The overall sound is infectiously upbeat and comes with a resonant sound of tranquillity as you slip into a state of awe at how perfectly Graz’s vocals sit on this instrumental masterpiece of a track that incorporates the always welcome sound of the ukulele. I’d definitely hop into a space ship with Graz and his unfathomably blissful Alt rock acoustic edge.
I can’t recommend, Galaxy Traveller enough to fans of acts such as Inspiral Carpets, SPACE, Bowie, El Goodo and the Super Furry Animals.
Head on over to BandCamp where you can check out Galaxy Traveller for yourself:
Folk Singer Songwriter Jim Corbett has just dropped his single from his upcoming debut EP ‘It’s Okay, Not to Be Okay’, due for release in February 2018. The West London based artist, created this contemporary masterpiece with the help of Producer Steve Lyon; the mind that was responsible for some of Depeche Mode’s greatest hits. Corbett has his own uniquely brutal honest sound which he projects through his soft acoustic rock sensibility, raw emotion and sobering lyrics. He released his EP to raise awareness of gender inequality when it comes to domestic violence and mental health issues in the light of the staggering rise in male suicide. The EP was inspired by the heart wrenching impact of a friend’s suicide in 2016, it’s safe to say his legacy lives on through the harmonies that are just as succinct as his voice which cuts through you like a knife when paired with his soul splitting lyrics.
Listen to the single Pink Socks today via SoundCloud:
It might seem odd that someone making music in the sun-kissed climes of Miami should sound like timeless English pastoral folk, but you could easily be forgiven for thinking that Daphne Michelles wonderful Save me is the product of rural Oxfordshire at the time of the 60’s folk revival. Thankfully the world is a more integrated and fluid place these days and influences cross time and tide, borders and boundaries with ease and glorious and intimate acoustic folk being made in a place more associated with party music and urban vibes.
And Save Me is nothing less than a glorious folk song, the vocals both emotive and imploring, the music delicate and detailed, the perfect ballad delivered with heart tugging accuracy and no small hint of drama. Any song which can exist in the modern world whilst simultaneously reminiscing on the genres wonderful past has its future assured.
There is something of a Ryan Adams vibe floating in the background of Brave, and that has to be a good thing right? Not the brash electric rock era nor the overtly melancholiac mood swings he subjected himself to but that first album brilliance that introduced him to the world. If you are going to be compared to anyone in the acoustic singer-songwriter oeuvre, then that is not a bad comparison to have. And it is deserved as McCall writes well turned acoustic songs which drive on simple beats, have just enough intricacy in the guitar work and which focuses on sparing and emotive lyrics.
There is a wonderful blend of urban folk cool and more a windswept Americana going on, it is slick and understated but also confident and well measured. There is a wave of indie troubadours in their wide hats and newly acquired beards mumbling pseudo world experience that they haven’t earned yet who could learn an important lesson from Henry McCall and it is this. All the fashion statements and social media likes in the world count for nothing if you haven’t got the songs and on the basis of Brave, it is a problem that Henry McCall isn’t going to have to worry about.
Portland’s Quinn Henry Mulligan is carrying on the sonic traditions of a long line of acoustic troubadours, from the 60’s folk-revivalists and coffee-shop hippies to the indie-folk blenders of the modern age. In fact the album January seems to have a foot at each end of that timeline, equally happy to deliver a soft retro-roots ballad such as Monday, Late as a fully orchestrated, cosmic Americana crescendo like okay.
It is this awareness of what has gone before that enables Mulligan to use those past traditions and classic sounds as a springboard to head into a glorious future for the folk genre. The result is an album which answers that much asked question “Where now for folk music?” without having to result to post-this and alt-that nonsense or having to dress it up in indie trappings. This is folk music in the traditional sense but also folk music for the future, music which will appeal to the generation of cool kids who have been turned on to the genre by a whole host of skinny-jeaned crossover bands, but which will also keep the traditionalists happy and even win favour with the more chart minded music.
Alex ja Armottomat is a Helsinki based artist, who, lets face it, you’ve probably never heard before, so it’s my job to tell you just how sensational this Indie Rock collective is when it comes to orchestrating tracks that make your heart skip a beat, even if you have to read the lyrics as subtitles.
Alex ja Armottomat’s latest track is accompanied by one of the most poignantly depressing music videos that the 21st century has seen, yet, in all of its quaintest charms it melts your heart paired against morosely muted vocals and the unmistakable rhythm of a raw acoustic Blues guitar.
Their debut track Sateisena Sunnuntaina was released last December, in all of it’s soulful Blues Rock Pop glory which is impossible to compare to other artists out there, it truly is in a league of its own with its strangely uplifting glory.
If you feel like adding a little culture to your music collection, make sure you check out the official music video to Sateisena Sunnuntaina using the YouTube link below:
Every once in awhile you find yourself coming across something special that is a masterfully crafted blend of vast variety of flavors; some flavors are instantly recognizable, while others are fresh and new. This sort of combination is exactly what we get with Sylva Faye’s latest release “Make You Rich”. With a special musical blend of genre influence including Folk, Soft Rock, Jazz, and Pop, there is certain to be something in the track to incline ears of all tastes.
The track begins with a beautifully fingerpicked acoustic guitar with a heavily reverberated electric guitar providing some deep ambience, and the busiest yet most subtle drumming keeping the time, ending with a nice thick and warm bass tone to fill out the sonic brew, and lead us into the first verse.
The verses simmer down a bit, offering Sylva Faye’s vocal delivery a true opportunity to shine. What a fantastic voice it is! Somewhere between the warmth of Adele, pop-oriented undertones of Lilly Allen, with a slight edge reminiscent of Stevie Nick is where you will find the voice of Sylva Faye. Once we reach the climactic chorus, Faye’s vocals show a sonic prowess that feels very powerful, yet somehow remains very subtle.
The entire song from top to bottom is laden with beautifully interwoven melodies with compliments of the guitars and sax, and some flute thrown in for good measure. Add in the amazing vocal harmonies during the hook, and you find yourself partaking in a masterfully crafted cup of sonic goodness that you simply do not want to see the bottom of. Much like a gourmet cup of java, once you have finished partaking this sonic brew, you will find yourself desirous of even more.
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!