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Laura Marling

Music

Leo Wood – My Luck: An Unfathomably Stunning Mix of DnB, Folk & Blues

I’m absolutely stumped trying to figure out a way to describe Leo Wood’s stunning sound in her debut single My Luck. Sure, it mixes DnB with Pop, Soul, Blues and Acoustic Folk, but hearing that fusion for the first time from such a strong female voice is an experience of pure aural alchemy that you definitely will want to check out for yourself. The funk of the bass contrasts against the more synthy elements of DnB, which creates a rich, perplexing sound that you can’t help slipping into. If you mixed Scroobius Pip with The Sugababes you might get somewhere close to the idea of Leo Wood’s unfathomably stunning sound.

Leo Wood is a Bristol, UK based songwriter and vocalist that uses her sound to test the boundaries of the acoustic and electronic partnership. There was clearly no rulebook in sight when Leo Wood set out to make her debut track My Luck instead, she took her own inspirations, classical training and penchant for Blues and Soul to create a truly pioneering sound.

You can check out the stunning official video to My Luck on YouTube using the link below:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYPYcjpDBEQ

Follow Leo Wood on Facebook:

https://www.facebook.com/LeoWoodOriginal

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

A&R Factory Present: Aja Volkman

Aja Volkman, an underrated figure of talent has released her solo debut album Sandy, an album that paints Aja as the girl next door and invites us in to experience an authentic story of benevolence. Once a former female front for the LA rock trio Nico Vega, and a successful collaboration with Emily Kohal, part of the collective of quirky indie band War Paint, Aja Volkman derives from a background of quintessentially cool underground music.

The album begins with Volkman’s number one hit single ‘My Man’, a personal treasure consigned to the mellow vintage sound Volkman creates. With a voice like velvet, her soft amiable vocals leave us dazed, a familiar feeling experienced from a state of romance. Crossing similarities with serene voices like Laura Marling and Maggie Rogers, Volkman infuses a modern bluesy style with 1950’s disco rock and roll, and she performs this so gracefully that I almost find myself lost in a Grease Musical.

As we shift from song to song, the style experiments from blues to country, in “Deep Love” and “Husband” the mood redefines the tone into a sincere light hearted impression, as opposed to her original innocent sensation. Volkman proves herself as a capable musician, exercising the strength in her vocals and taking complete control of the music. The use of the traditional musical pallet of the guitar, drums and piano merge into a trouble-free flowing melody, and this is what makes us fall in love with her unique sound.

Each track has its own personal story, and this is clear upon the variation in the genre it depicts. ‘Skeletons’ I would call the most modern and catchy tune of the bunch, and the track that speaks the most truth. Volkman illuminates the darkness of past bad decisions, “I made choices that I’m gonna have to live with/I’ve been places that I shouldn’t have gone”, and through the bright hooks and optimistic rhythm she ameliorates a memory of melancholy, “I’ll wait for a mission/I’ll wait for the truth/I’ll wait for whatever you want me to do”.

Whilst ‘Skeletons’ is built upon a happy-go-lucky style of tone, ‘Cracked’, which is seemingly disparate, is a portal into Volkman’s vulnerability. Whilst exposing her hidden anxiety and misconceptions, she overcomes these fears by tackling the nostalgia head on and facing her inner demons. The lethargic and quiet tone the melody leads with intensifies the ambience and keeps us on edge, and through this Volkman engages us with her susceptible emotions, ending the album on a touching high.

‘Sandy’ is out May 19th and you can get Aja’s brand new single ‘My Man’ as an instant grat when you pre-order the album from April 28th.

Words By Aly Mchugh
Music

A&R Factory Present: Lauran Hibberd

Lauran Hibberd who draws influence from artists such as Laura Marling and Lucy Rose strikes a poetic balance between Pop and Folk by combining her ethereal vocal with a simple, delicate guitar style. Her most recently released single ‘I Don’t Like It When You Smile‘, is already attracting attention with air play on Radio X’s Communion Presents, BBC Introducing and was recently selected for a play on Radio 1 as part of the Huw Stephens show.

She achieved great success with her debut single ‘The House I Built When I Was Small’ which was instantly picked up for airplay by Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 Music, Shell Zenner and Kathryn Tickle on ‘Amazing Radio’ and more recently Maz Tappuni on Radio X as well as ‘Best of British Unsigned’. The single can also be heard on the in-store playlists of both Harrods and Costa and was chosen by Newton Faulkner to feature on the June playlist for ‘Richer Unsigned’.

Lauran has captivated audiences with her live performances at several great festivals this year including Isle of Wight Festival, Y-Not Festival and the main stage of Bestival. With more new music already recorded and ready for release 2017 is looking to be another fantastic year for Lauran.

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