Browsing Tag

john mayer

Spotlight Feature: Sam Handy is ‘Done’ in his soul-fix of a pop hit

Reading UK-based solo artist, Sam Handy, has been lauded by Jeff Beck, the BBC and everyone lucky enough to catch his soul-spilling sound live. After his latest single, Done, he’s set to take his career to even greater heights – the world can’t sleep on this.

Like all of Sam Handy’s recent releases, Done was produced by Ed Stokes. Discernibly, Stokes shares Handy’s passion in keeping the focus on stellar songwriting and instrumental ability; instead of over-producing the raw elements out of the track.

With the funk of Nile Rogers in the light instrumental hooks, the raspy, harmonic neo-soul vocals that carry reminiscences to D’Angelo and the sniping lyricism, Done becomes so much more than a sum of its parts. The single that explores toxic relationships is an intoxicatingly all-consuming track that allows the instrumentals to bring the warm catharsis while the lyrics prove that soul and resilience go hand in hand. In an emboldening way, Done reminds you that everyone deserves a backbone. We can’t wait to hear what follows.

Done is now available to stream on Spotify. To keep up to date with new releases, follow Sam Handy on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

 

Zach Butler has made his funked-up blues debut with ‘Selfish’.

Some artists try to portray themselves as icons, and some become iconic through their instant accessibility; Zach Butler safely and funkily falls into the latter camp. His debut single, Selfish, is a soulfully rendered feat of experimentalism that finds its vibrancy by grasping at the roots of blues and ripping them out in grooves that are almost technical enough to resonate as avant-garde.

Even though there’s plenty of distinction to grasp through the lyrics and vocals that carry the charisma of a cult leader, the guitars are on a whole other level. As soon as he starts to play in the progressively choppy despite being smooth single, you get the sense that he carries a deep passion for the technicalities of expression. The up and coming Atlanta-based artist takes influence from the guitar styles of Stevie Ray Vaughan and John Mayer. For songwriting influence, he looks to the likes of Stephen Day and Jordy Searcy.

Selfish is now available to stream on all major platforms via this link.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Snir Yamin: maybe your new favourite singer-songwriter with new single ‘Taking’

Snir Yamin might just be the best male singer-songwriter you’ve never heard of; his previous singles, ‘Down The Line’ and ‘Twenty Three’, both made it to number one on the iTunes Top 200 Alternative Tracks chart, but new single ‘Taking’ is simply stunning, a painfully wistful melancholic nostalgia to Yamin’s guitars and plaintive vocals.

It’s a great track, evocative and emotive, gentle yet powerful all at once, some intricate, melodic guitar picking underneath the poignancy. It’s reminiscent, a little, of The Calling, but also classic singer-songwriters like Elliot Smith and guitar-led artists like Snow Patrol and John Mayer, there’s also classic songwriting with elements of older influences such as the Stones, Dylan, or the Police in the mix too.

‘Taking’ is available on Spotify right now; check out Snir Yamin on Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Alex Holmes

Dom Malin – Eye of the Storm: Sweetly Tempestuous Modern Indie Folk

As soon as you hit play on West Midlands-based singer-songwriter Dom Malin’s third self-produced Indie Folk single, you’ll see why it is titled “Eye of the Storm”.

The parable between heartbreak and elemental chaos is intensely palpable. You’ll find yourself swept up in the evocatively raw, melodically crafted radio-ready production and ardently in awe of Malin’s intimate connectable vulnerability.

It’s so much more than the deliverance of piteous self-indulgent woe. Eye of the Storm deals with the unendurable emotions which come to fruition when you realise that there’s no chance of keeping a fire in a relationship breathing as the last ember has already faded. Malin notes the inconsolability which accompanies heartbreak, but with Eye of the Storm, he offers a temporary aural escape by delivering emotion which may just displace your own romantic lament.

Your soul would have to be fairly dilapidated not to register the painful emotion which has been projected into the soundscape which will go down a storm (excuse the pun) with any fans of John Mayer, The Lumineers, Damien Rice and Ben Howard.

Even though there are some stylistic nods to the likes of Paul Simon, Malin’s sound is anything but archaic. Malin achieves a sonically massive sound which would have no trouble filling a stadium, all the while delivering one of the most tenderly poetic singles which you’ll hear this year.

Ahead of the official release, Eye of the Storm has already been chosen as track of the week by BBC introducing Lincolnshire. It would be no surprise if it featured on plenty of other Radio A-lists throughout Autumn 2020 and beyond.

Eye of the Storm was released on Friday, November 6th, 2020. You can check it out via Spotify.

Stay up to date with new releases from Dom Malin by following him on Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Northern Irish multi-instrumentalist Michael-Jay mellows us up with classic soulful ”Stay Tuned”

This is a soothing melody of utmost beauty and a calming influence. The topic is ironic as we need to stay tuned with what is going on in 2020. We need to hold on tight and stay together during these tornado blowing times.

This is soulful jazz of the highest order. There are no vocals on Michael-Jay’s new track called ”Stay Tuned” and I am feeling the journey. I feel like this is a perfect song to chill out to on a Sunday evening with a glass of wine. So much chill with bass-filled solo’s at the end which makes the song complete in my ears.

Michael’s music production is a live blend of Tom Misch, FKJ & John Mayer. These influences mesh together tightly like a waterlily wrap of beautifully arranged blends to rescue us from this sad world.

Facebook is the place to find out for about this Northern Ireland musician.

Stream this wonderful instrumental track that chills up down right here on Spotify.

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Orlando Indie Pop/Soul band G.W. Souther bust out new track ‘’We Don’t Wanna Talk About It’’

Known for their breakout reggae infused debut song ‘’”Freedom on the Line” from 2016, G.W Souther are back with ’We Don’t Wanna Talk About It’’. It’s a solid song, with all the right moves and top musicianship. This is the final song on their new ‘’F I S H’’ album from 2020.

After working with Christina Milian, G Eazy, Jeremih, and Snoop Dogg lately, this band is growing each day and are making quite a name for themselves with festival appearances in the US. 

I do feel like they should go back to their reggae roots but totally understand the change of direction on new album ‘’F I S H’’. Each band must evolve but I do prefer the earlier releases from ‘’Freedom On The Line’’. They had a special groove going that I miss.

Look out for more quality music from G.W. Souther, a band who seem like good guys that just want to make good music and entertain. They have soul and make people happy, the whole point of music in the first place.

Listen here on Spotify

Reviewed by Llewelyn Screen

Makayi has dropped Diamond in the Rough

Artist Makayi has dropped his latest single ‘Diamond in the Rough’ mixing a variety of different sounds together to achieve this Hip-Hop yet RnB/Soul piece.

It’s always a lot more intriguing when diverse sounds combine together and create a piece of music, in this one the start is laid back, swaying more to the slow-pace melody that flows in and out of the vocals, adding in that high energy beat that pulses through, giving it it’s Hip-Hop style.

But then switching back to that more calming and smooth sound, especially with the vocal tone, it has this soft texture and tends to be more on the flat side until stretching out to hit the high notes.

The beat flows in and out of the vocals, whilst the melody stays more on that super upbeat style the lyrics take the volume down a notch, it’s a great way of combining to different paces rather than just sticking with the same one and it still creates an interesting track.

Check out Makayi Diamond in the Rough by heading over here now.

Review by Karley Myall

Sean Miller releases EP Everywhere I Roam

Northern Michigan, singer-songwriter Sean Miller has dropped his seven-track collection ‘Everywhere I Roam’.

An anthology filled with excitement and pure energy flowing through each piece, having this really uplifting way about them, infusing the sound of Pop-Folk with the super upbeat instrumentation and the high-pitched energetic vocals.

Some are a lot more laid back, making you feel a sense of relaxation as you listen, some a lot quicker and louder, the strums on the guitar are harsher and the vocals take a more fast pace approach seeming a little rougher. Having that mixture between the two different styles of song and really making it his own in such an incredible way, not to mention the incredible duet with Lara Fullford on track four ‘Phone Call Smiles’ a love song sang in such a mesmerising way as each vocal bounces off one another perfectly.

Listen to Sean Miller’s EP Everywhere I Roam by heading on over to Spotify now.

Review by Karley Myall

Nia J – Bad Faith: Sweetly Soul-Appeasing Choral Alt Soul Pop

The soul-appeasing melodies in Nia J’s third Alt Pop single “Bad Faith” will have you captivated with just the first few notes.

While many Pop artists fail to find new avenues to take their sound, Nia J experimented with rich choral tones and succinctly layered harmonies to create a track which is so accordant it is practically celestial.

Any fans of John Mayer, Bruno Mars, Daniel Caesar and H.E.R. are sure to appreciate this unique combination of Neo-Soul, Acoustic Folk Pop, and RnB. The sweet colourfully popping notes are the perfect platform for Nia J’s resounding flawlessly pitched vocals. With Bad Faith coming together under a polished production, it’s a radio-ready hit which won’t be out of place on your Alt Pop playlists.

You can check out Nia J’s single Bad Faith for yourselves via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Paul Vinson – Last Summer: Unflinchingly Enigmatic Soul Pop

Now that we’re safely in the bitter grips of Autumn its time to reminisce about the summers gone by. Luckily Singer Songwriter Paul Vinson has recently released his latest single “Last Summer” to get us through the equinox blues.

At the age of 19 years old the vocalist and guitarist has already got a staggering amount of soul and maturity in his vocals and lyrics thanks to his childhood spent as a gospel singer which helped him develop his unflinchingly enigmatic vocal talent. Yet, Paul saw the light and put his faith into his music career, with his accessibly warm and expressive style it’s safe to say he made the right choice in opening his sound up to a non-pious audience.

Fans of John Mayer, 21 Pilots, James Bay and Allen Stone will definitely appreciate the viscerally alive soundscape he’s cooked up with fellow bandmates. With the jazz style piano’s stabbing notes and bluesy guitar and bass rhythm guiding you through the track, it’s hard not to get caught up within the momentum of the sentimentally sweet single.

You can check out Paul Vinson’s latest single Last Summer for yourself by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast