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John Cooper Clarke

The Bard of Ely, Steve Andrews waxes lyrical in his latest climate-conscious single.

Mother Nature Rap by Steve Andrews

On March 21st, Steve Andrews, AKA the Bard of Ely, showed us a brand-new facet to his consistently conscious talent with the release of ‘Mother Nature Rap’. The rap track drifts away from his usual psych-folk style but keeps the heart of it behind the canter of the rapped vocals, blistering synths and heavy rattle of the 808s.

I can safely say that I haven’t been this arrested in a socially dissecting hip hop track since Scroobius Pip launched his Logic of Chance album. The vocals take on a brand-new style of conviction as Andrews takes a no holds barred approach to announcing the impending climate doom and pointing out that we are already living it.

There is no shortage of cutting lyricism, but my personal preference has to fall upon, Mother nature ain’t here for your dream, You’re in hers, so let it be, and The Mother’s lungs have been cut out, It’s happened but it’s obscene. The imagery is as haunting as it is captivating in its unflinching John Cooper Clarke style.

Mother Nature Rap was recorded in Portugal at Verdelho Studio with Ricardo Verdelho as the producer. It also features synth overdubs by Crum (ex-Hawkwind, ex-Moonloonies). It is now available to stream and purchase via Bandcamp.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

The UK-based artist, Bobby Bluff is set to make his bleak smitten-worthy avant-folk debut

Bobby Bluff

If any new 2022 release can help you turn a smile, it’s the eccentrically enamouring release, The Cat of Cruickshank, by the UK-based singer-songwriter and artist Bobby Bluff. With fleeting reminiscences to Billy Bragg, The Residents, The Legendary Pink Dots and John Cooper Clarke, the gritty yet sonically exuberant vignette is the ultimate existentialist’s playlist staple.

Paradoxically, The Cat of Cruickshank is elevated in its Avant-Garde style and as rough as the plot to a Ken Loach film. Coming across it almost felt like an act of serendipity in our dystopic world-weary times. The Cat of Cruickshank leaves you with that rare sense of eagerness to find out where Bluff will take his innovation next. Even if the rest of 2022 disappoints, you can place your faith in the stout-hearted ingenuity of Bluff.

The Cat of Cruickshank is just one of the singles on Bobby Bluff’s debut album, Introducing Bobby Bluff, which will release in April 2022.

Review by Amelia Vandergast