Browsing Tag

James Taylor

Isiah & The New People led a rhythmic indie-folk-rock revolution with their debut EP, Boxes

Rooted in roots rock tradition and daring in execution, the debut EP from Isiah & The New People proves that no sonic flavour can rival pure, raw creativity. With an unadulterated emotion as the kindling which ignites through the friction of rhythmic volition, the fourpiece tore down the barricades of the soul, one visceral lick at a time with their four-track EP, Boxes.

The Little Chute, Wisconsin collective of veteran artists amalgamated a genre-fluid compendium of songs that dig deep into the trenches of the human psyche while awakening the senses of anyone who stumbles on this encapsulation of sonic liberation, which was released on the symbolic day of July 4.

The opening track, 1000 Tears, smokes out rich organic indie folk-rock textures with the sax lines while bridging the poetic expressiveness of Bob Dylan and the visceral intensity of Eddie Vedder. Isiah Driessen’s vocal versatility resounds as he navigates effortlessly between the deep, soulful timbres of Johnny Cash and the piercing clarity of James Taylor’s emotive howls.

Cherry Tree, shifts gears towards a more intimate setting, weaving Paolo Nutini-esque vulnerability into the fabric of its melody with tender acoustic guitar plucks and heartfelt vocals.  The third offering, The Girl Downstairs, introduces a grittier, blues-infused sound that showcases the band’s ability to morph stylistically. The overdriven guitars and raw energy inject a robust dynamism into the EP, demonstrating their chameleonic adaptability and broad musical palette.

The EP concludes with Where’s Lake Waldo? a track that ventures into psychedelic territory with ennui-pained lyrics and expansively kaleidoscopic sonics. The tinged-with-existential-pondering is a fitting end to the EP’s narrative—questioning, exploring, and seeking.

With Boxes, Isiah & The New People articulated a philosophy of musical and personal exploration. It is the ultimate statement of artistic liberation which lays down a promising trajectory for the band which is sure to resonate with any music fans searching for an aural mode of genuine connectivity.

Isiah & The New People said:

“We put things in boxes; whether it’s people, ideas, or ourselves. However, every day we have the chance to be reborn, let things go, and take on new perspectives. I felt myself being put into a box. My pursuits in music have been about breaking out of it.”

Stream Boxes on Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Ellie Irwin explored the agony of unmet expectations in her timeless folk single, Pill That Won’t Go Down

Pill That Won’t Go Down” by Ellie Irwin is a heart-wrenching exposition of coming to terms with a breakup where it was impossible to meet expectations. The single explores the intersections between contemporary folk and the styles of Joni Mitchell and James Taylor while winding in elements of alt-country through the acoustic guitar strings.

This track doesn’t just strike a chord; it is enough to reshape your idea of contemporary relationships, where we’re as disposable as everything else in our throwaway economy, where novelty trumps loyalty, regardless of the memories you throw away, the scars you carve into souls, and the distrust you leave in the minds of people you allowed into your world only to show them the door out of it.

Ellie Irwin’s vocal performance efficaciously encapsulates the aura of melancholy without the emotions overbearing the delicately balanced performance that will stay with you long after the final lyrical reprise of ‘the pill that won’t go down’. For anyone who has been there before, Ellie offers not just solace but a cathartic release, her music acting as a mirror to the soul’s more sombre realities.

For fans of innovative, thought-provoking folk, Ellie Irwin offers a profound exploration of heartache and the human condition. Her music serves as a critical commentary on the disposable nature of modern relationships, delivered through a blend of singer-songwriter finesse that echoes the timeless classics, yet with a twist of rawness and originality.

Pill That Won’t Go Down was officially released on April 12th; stream the single on Spotify and Apple Music.

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

Sparks in the Garden reached the pinnacle of picturesque pop-rock in their latest single, Colorado

‘Colorado’ is the latest scenically striking sonic score from the emotion-driven singer-songwriter duo, Sparks in the Garden. The Jacksonville, Florida brother-duo’s affectionately positive brand of Americana Pop-Rock is as refreshing to the soul as pulling the top down and hitting the road.

With the rich naturalist lyricality fused with the major piano keys and guitars that will be a hit with any fans of James Taylor, John Mayer and Jason Mraz, Sparks in the Garden reinvented nostalgia with this stellar slice of Pop-Rock that effortlessly spills serotonin as the poised progressions unfurl around the immersive virtuosic songwriting chops. You just can’t help falling in love with the duo when you’re in the midst of their ingenuity.

Colorado will be available to stream from February 24th. Hear it on SoundCloud.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Chris Hobart has dropped his single Wolf Pack: Synth Indie Rock at it’s finest

Up and coming artist Chris Hobart has dropped his single ‘Wolf Pack’ embracing the wholesome sound of Synth Indie Rock, it’s a masterpiece.

An impactful instrumentation pulses through this piece, that loud bang on the drum, using the synthesizer to create that catchy melody and adding in humming and a chant, giving it a more powerful meaning.

The way the rhythm is changed from the beginning, middle and end keeps you listening. Towards the halfway point, is where the Indie Rock elements take their lead, the loud high-pitched riffs on the guitar, the clash on the drums but still keeping that same synthesized beat but lowering the volume on it so it gently collides alongside the rest.

Chris creates a feeling of suspense through his vocal ranges, keeping it rather flat in places but hitting them high notes perfectly, having a rather silvery tone when it comes to his voice and wide array of pitches

This one is one that will be listened to by many and will definitely be on repeat, so be sure to check this one out.

Head over to SoundCloud now to listen to Chris Hobart’s track Wolf Pack.

Review by Karley Myall

You Don’t Have To Be Beautifully Mad To Work Here, But It Helps

Silhouette by Beautifully Mad

The best music connects with you at a subconscious level. You can analyses, deconstruct and debate the merits of it till the cows come home but real genius is already talking to you on an altogether more subtle level. In fact not just talking, the best music will have knocked on the door of your subconscious holding a bunch of flowers, wined and dined it and will be curled up on the sofa with it before your conscious half has even managed to get out of bed.

And so it is with Silhouette, the titular offering from Beautifully Mad’s latest album and the real genius is that you have been listening to this band all of your life, you just may not have realised it. You have heard them in the lyricism of Leonard Cohen, the drunken grooves of Tom Waits, the sass of a whole range of blues divas and the virtuosity of blues informed rock guitarists. It is timeless and inevitable but still brilliantly original and totally necessary.