Chris Wareham has the ubiquitous sound of a bedroom artist. His latest track Sting Me Down illustrates the image of the pensive Acoustic Singer Song writer holed up in his North London residence.
The talented solo artist exposes his soul through his music, allowing his audience to hear him stripped naked by his lyrics that resonate through the soundwaves of his haunting voice, honest lyrics and deftly strummed guitar. It’s nice to hear an artist sticking to his humble acoustic roots and not striving to be yet another Ed Sheeran wannabe. He sings with playful humility that makes the minimalistic sound truly a pleasure to listen to. He lets his voice dominate the tracks, not hiding behind instrumentals or crass reverberation to bring his music to life. You can hear each and every lick of the string throughout the progression of the track.
Fans are already begging for an album from the talented musician, and I’ve joined the que behind his loyal following. He’s created waves in the underground musical Mecca for acoustic artists in London.
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With an evocative title like King on the Cross, you know Mystic Tears are cooking up some kind of trouble. Structured like a sing-along and performed with a blistering disdain directed towards theological figures and the atrocities performed in their names, King on the Cross brings up some of what music lost when psychedelic rock fell out of fashion. There’s something really ear-catching about the juxtaposition of simple, repetitive verses underscored with sinister themes and Mystic Tears know just how to capture that haphazard magic and shoot it with intent and precision.
The bassline walks tall and confidently while vocals echo through the halls toward a distant, menacing distorted guitar. Despite the atmosphere, there is no energy lost. Harmonically rich sound effects via the guitar keep things nice and interesting and the building layers of vocals climax but always come back for more. This is a song that doesn’t only seek to make its point. It doesn’t stop until it’s left you haunted. Whether preaching to the choir or converting new members of the congregation, King on the Cross is sure to draw a crowd for Mystic Tears.
Mystic Tears makes music that is as enigmatic as the project’s name. Their single, “Shine” is haunting and beautiful – a melancholic ballad that makes me think of the quieter moments of artists such as Soundgarden or Nine Inch Nails, just to mention a few. The drums have a floating groove that really fits with the sparse, gentle guitars and with the sultry vocal performances. The track has a nice, sustained feel throughout its duration, but it definitely opens up to a stunning climax towards its end. The playing gets more intense, and new layers of tone seamlessly bring something new to the mix. The beautiful lead guitar work and stunning vocal solos make me think of timeless acts such as Pink Floyd, but re-imagined in a refreshing modern way.
In conclusion, this track feels like a musical journey: its arrangement its deceptively simple and direct, but the song’s emotional impact is huge. This is one of those tracks that really compel you to focus and listen, stopping whatever else you were doing at the moment and solely concentrate on the music!
Steve Cornell finds a perfect middle ground between timeless Beatles-channelling psychedelia and rough, unforgiving grunge evoking Chris Cornell (no relation?) with his song Save Grace. While the song doesn’t reach the treacherous emotional peaks of the latter, it does pull in on the same dread that has tinged so many verses throughout decades of heartbroken songwriters staring into the abyss and coming back with a song to share.
The hopeless feeling emanating from the track can be applied to so many relatable heart aches from the personal to the existential. The affected guitar helps illustrate this dystopian noir of a soundscape with touches of color and beauty amongst the vulnerable, pained verses which urge the listener to head their warnings. Save Grace is a classic that we may not want to play until we’re ready to sit and listen intently, and in that fashion, we can maintain that it won’t be wasted falling on deaf ears of people in high spirits. This is a song for darker hours and it’s better kept that way.