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Leonard Cohen

Music

Get high with Michael Golden’s intoxicating Alt Folk single “Mr. Ecstasy”

Slip into the soul contained in US singer-songwriter Michael Golden’s debut album Some Kind of Holiday, it’s a candidly compelling narration of the artist’s experience navigating life, you’ll find plenty of familiar moments staring back at you.

The perfect introduction to their melodically haunting style is irrefutably “Mr. Ecstasy”. Any fans of Leonard Cohen and Tom Waits are going to get stung by the melancholy. Just like dropping a pill, there are blissfully radiant highs and soul-scraping lows. Yet, Mr. Ecstasy is able to offer far more than narcotics could.

The tender nostalgic comfort contained in Mr. Ecstasy is worth its weight in gold. Michael Golden has palpably succeeded in recreating the 70s sound with a modern digital folk edge.

You can check out Mr. Ecstasy for yourselves by heading over to YouTube now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

PB Ruck lays down some haunting soul with their latest single “One-Man Rodeo”

Up and coming singer-songwriter PB Ruck released his latest single One-Man Rodeo on August 24th. It’s pretty much safe to say that it may just be the most pensively raw single we’ve heard so far in 2020.

The hauntingly mellifluous soundscape possesses a timeless Alt-Folk feel which is sure to be a hit with any fans of the likes of Cohen, Waits and Dylan, but it’s anything but archaic. Thanks to the clever contemporary nuances in One-Man Rodeo, it rings with modernity, resonance and connectivity.

You can check out PB Ruck’s single One-Man Rodeo for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Blonde Lion has released their enrapturing ennui-laden Alt Folk single “Ordinary Day”

Folk-Pop singer-songwriter Blonde Lion released their latest single “Ordinary Day” on August 5th. Elliott Smith may not be with us anymore, but Blonde Lion’s melancholic style is just as efficacious at drawing pensive emotions from you and offering aural resolve.

Obviously, I didn’t make it to the end of Ordinary Day with dry eyes. The delicateness of the atmospheric and intricate acoustic instrumentals was one thing, the resonance in the lyrics was quite another.  Ordinary Days was inspired by the days where you wake up and struggle to find anything which offers any meaning. The jaded ennui was all too relatable and it’s safe to say that after the global lockdown, plenty more people will see themselves in this sublime soundscape which serves as the perfect introduction to Blonde Lion’s compelling style.

You can check out Blonde Lion’s latest release by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Knox Bronson – I Want to Know: Delicately Orchestral Alt Folk

Oakland, US Folk Singer-Songwriter Knox Bronson has recently released their latest single “I Want to Know (What You Told the Sun). If Cohen has a tendency to make you teary, so will this sublimely orchestrated release.

The delicately inviting semi-orchestral arrangement possesses plenty of choral depth and creates the perfect platform for Knox Bronson’s gravelly yet harmonic quiescent vocals. And the nostalgic feel of the release gives I Want to Know plenty of instant accessibility from the first hit. Yet, there’s plenty of distinction to be found within the atmospheric soundscape along with sheer amorous mesmerism.

You can listen to I Want to Know for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Keep up to date with Knox Bronson’s latest releases via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Fade – Cinderella’s Fancy Eyes: Romantically Bitter-Sweet Neo-Classic Indie Pop

From the first vocal note in the standout single “Cinderella’s Fancy Eyes” from Fade’s debut EP “After Midnight” the arrestive pull of the soundscape takes its firm grip. From there on out, the bitter-sweet Neo-Classic Indie Pop melodies kick up an evocative storm whilst keeping the progressions poised and piercing.

The lyrics in Cinderella’s Fancy Eyes poignantly and deftly capture the darker side of romanticism – the side which any fans of William Blake and Jack Kerouac will appreciate. While the playfully dark tones will easily enamour anyone who finds themselves drawn to Nick Cave’s artfully bleak approach to songwriting.

Cinderella’s Fancy Eyes is a tender masterpiece which we certainly won’t forget about in a hurry.

You can check out Cinderella’s Fancy Eyes along with the rest of Fade’s debut EP which dropped on May 8th for yourselves via Spotify.

Keep up to date with new releases from Fade via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Prepare to be captivated by B.W. Johnson’s artfully pensive Alt Folk Pop single “I Can’t Row for Two”

B.W. Johnson’s stripped-bare, emotively haunted standout single “I Can’t Row for Two” had us transfixed from the prelude. As you can see, the track title alone offers pensive poetry. Yet that linguistically bruising wit is just a drop in the ocean compared to what this artful Lo-Fi Folk Pop single contains.

If you can imagine what Radiohead would sound like if Thom Yorke took their sound in a slightly folkier direction and used warmer organic tones, you’ll get an idea of the kind of exploratively emotive alchemy which spills from this timelessly striking soundscape.

I Can’t Row for Two is just one of the singles which feature on B.W. Johnson’s second album French Kiss Lessons, the entire record will undoubtedly enamour any fans of Elliott Smith.

You can check out the album for yourselves by heading over to Spotify now.

Keep up to date with the latest releases from B.W. Johnson via Facebook.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Max Seidman – The Key: Ethereally Magnetic Americana Folk

Any fans of Kurt Vile will want to get acquainted with the pensively captivating latest single “The Key” from up and coming Americana Folk artist Max Seidman.

There’s a contemporary spin on the timeless genre through the ethereal polished production. Yet, the organically sentimental track shares the same beguiling magnetism as tracks by the likes of Cohen, Waits, and Elliot Smith.

The melancholic keys find perfect synergy with the stripped-back delicate fingerpicked acoustic guitar notes and create an immersive soundscape to lie under Max Seidman’s powerfully resounding vocals which will leave you hanging on every neatly-pitched vocal note in the Key.

Tracks don’t often come as narratively arrestive as the Key. Max Seidman is undoubtedly one to watch.

You can check out The Key along with Max Seidman’s earlier releases by heading over to Spotify now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

8udDha bl0od – L0<3 15 0n y0Ur 51D3

8udDha bl0od’s Alt Folk single L0<3 15 0n y0Ur 51D3 may be a far cry from what you can expect from the likes of Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen, and Elliott Smith. But the same soulfully pensive tones are prepared to meet you with the same striking resonance.

With piano strings melancholically pulling over the organically woody acoustic instrumentals, there’s a mesmerising interplay of sadness and uplifting accordance. L0<3 15 0n y0Ur 51D3 may be a light track, but the vocal and instrumental melodies are as tight as they come in Alt Folk.

L0<3 15 0n y0Ur 51D3 isn’t a testament of the Brighton-based artist’s talent. It’s just one facet of it, within their diverse back catalogue you’ll have all the proof you need that 8udDha bl0od’s creativity transcends the ideas of genres and constraints. If you appreciate pioneering artists, they’re definitely one to watch.

You can check out 8udDha bl0od’s single  L0<3 15 0n y0Ur 51D3 out for yourselves by heading over to SoundCloud now.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Music

Annika Brown: Amanda Palmer Meets Steampunk (Only for The Brave)

Annika Brown’s Latest track Apocalypso is a theatrical spectacular. Nothing quite could prepare me for what was about to unfold over the next three minutes as I hit play on YouTube. It’s hard to pay attention to the actual sound of the track after watching the official music video in which she embraces Kate Bush style dramatics. I certainly won’t be forgetting what I’ve just heard in a long time.

Annika’s sound Is definitely an acquired taste, I’m not sure tracks such as Apocalypso will ever fair well in the mainstream, however she’s created an eclectic mix of sound which she imparts her Emily The Strange demeanour within. Even when she’s playing an acoustic guitar in the woods her unique charm is never dampened. . But that’s just part of it’s charm. Alternative music fans are in for a treat with this act. With operatic vocals, doom riddled melodies and classic piano backing track. There’s a hint of Victorian hysteria within her music, which she reincarnates through her Gothic Soprano vocals. The Same as can be heard with acts such as a Emilie Autumn and her signature Fantasy Rock styling.

Head on over to her website where you can keep up date with her musical ventures. Her latest album The Devils Story Book featuring Apocalypso is available to download or stream now!

 

Music

A&R Factory Present: Leaone

Leaone continues his rise with the sublime new single ‘Goldtooth’, released this October 21st, and another stunning track that marks out this hugely promising new talent.

Self-produced and mixed by Jim Lowe (Stereophonics), Leaone began writing in his parent’s attic after a series of events (losing his girlfriend, job, and getting mugged) led him back home to his native Suffolk. Following a meeting with Jim at his Shepherds Bush studio the pair started working together, with Jim mixing and performing on some of Leaone’s material.

‘Young Green Eyes’ was the first track from those sessions to be released earlier this year, and an astonishing start for a promising contemporary artist. Written about his ex-girlfriend, the song is a haunting, reflective piece that reflects Leaone’s influences of both Johnny Cash and Elliott Smith.

‘Goldtooth’ picks up where ‘Young Green Eyes’ left off, with Leaone’s distinctive vocals pulling at the emotive heartstrings with superb delivery and melody, all swept along by an undercurrent of haunting and sparse instrumentation.

Since releasing his last single release, performing with Emmy The Great and Roddy Woomble (Idlewild), Leaone has finished work on his debut EP, set to be released this autumn, and from what we’ve heard so far, it’s looking set to be something very, very special. Leaone is also already back in the studio, writing and recording his second EP after securing Arts Council funding for the release.

‘Goldtooth’ will be released on October 21st 2016, and will be available from all good digital stores. More live dates and details of Leaone’s debut EP are set to follow in the coming weeks.