Taken from the debut EP, I Cannot Go on Reaching, LÌONADH’s achingly artful lead single, European Man,consumed us with the emotion it was eloquently constructed through. The poet-fronted Glaswegian ensemble with a classical string section at their disposal may be fresh from their inception, but they are already garnering critical acclaim and causing catholic outcries.
Before the launch of their debut EP, the poet, Sean Lìonadh, shared his viral poem, Time for Love, which has amassed over 16 million streams, been published by BBC Scotland and driven the petulantly pious to frenzy by speaking for the LGBTQ+ community. Anyone that upsets the archaically moralistic applecart is instantly venerable in my book. There’s no taste quite like the salty tears of zealots.
As for the single, with the chill-imparting spoken word verses, around Nick Cave-Esque keys and operatic vocal grace, LÌONADH delivered pure art. If you thought that Arab Strap’s comeback album was something, delve into the hymnal sanctity of European Man.
Lancashire singer-songwriter Michael R Shaw has teased the humility and ornate originality in his upcoming album by giving us a preview of the short and profound dark-folk single, Lord of All.
Straight away the Nick Cave, Guy Garvey, and Richard Hawley influences start to resound around Shaw’s art-folk ingenuity which carries a touch of tenderness, poetry exhumed from a plaintive soul and a bold alchemic appeal that almost takes this folk track to a celestial level. It certainly wouldn’t be out of place on the Peaky Blinders soundtrack. Lord of All could have been the track to prevent the criminally excessive use of Red Right Hand.
Lord of All is the intro to Shaw’s upcoming album, which is due for release on September 1st, 2022. Check out Michael R Shaw via his website and SoundCloud.
If James Gale’s debut 2021 EP, Medicine, passed you by, you missed a sweetly psychotropic slice of alt-rock that more than has what it takes to unite fans of Nick Cave, Nirvana, Elliott Smith and the Beatles.
The standout single, Summer Blues, which has now racked up over 14k streams on Spotify, is an indulgent cocktail of psych, blues, indie, and grunge. The dark narrative is delectably handled by the Bruges, Belgium-hailing singer-songwriter and artist. The way the accordant momentum picks up under Gale’s taunting vocals that question if you’re afraid to lose control before bluesily winding the soundscape back down into kaleidoscopically choral grooves is nothing short of arrestive.
We seriously hope that there’s a sophomore release in the pipeline.
Summer Blues is available to stream along with James Gale’s debut EP via Spotify.
With years of songwriting behind him, LeoJJChill has given us a taste of what we can expect from his future releases. Anyone who found them ensnared by Nick Cave’s new material created in collaboration with Warren Ellis will quickly become ensnared by the ease of the melodies and the command of the vocals above the gentle acoustic guitar progressions.
His songwriting that takes you right back to the roots of folk is simple, but it isn’t without soul or authentic artistic licence, and that is exactly what leaves you absorbed by LeoJJChill’s less-than-archetypal approach to lo-fi folk. We eagerly await his official indie-folk debut.
Don’t Kill Me is the latest single from Chris Sunfield, an artist quickly becoming renowned for his conceptual explorations of classic pop idioms to the tune of snaking, swampy blues-rock that isn’t afraid to go Baroque through symphonic styling.
His radio-ready psychobilly single is probably the most accurate femme fatale depiction I’ve ever heard; what Single White Female is to cinema, Don’t Kill Me is to the airwaves. Any fans of the Cramps, the Brains, Amigo the Devil, Nick Cave, or Mad Sin will find plenty to love about Sunfield.
Don’t Kill Me is now available to stream on Spotify.
If you cranked That Handsome Devil’s sex appeal up to 11, you’d be left with Paul Bidault’s latest swampy, swinging, dark-jazz folk track, Who Do You Think You Are? Which experiments with a more maleficent side of the sound that Tom Waits made iconic.
With swing band percussion rattling around trombones and consistently evolving guitars in the richly dark and eerie soundscape, Bidault’s whiskey-soaked murder-folk vocals that wouldn’t be out of place in the Psychobilly scene have the perfect atmosphere to fall into.
The Paris-born, Mexico-city based artist is one to watch for anyone that gets their kicks from stumbling into tracks that carry familiar themes while completely reinventing them through the artist’s vision.
Who Do You Think You Are? was officially released on August 20th; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify or the artist’s official website.
If Tom Smith broke away from the Editors and started a solo project, we’re fairly certain there would be stark reminiscences to singer-songwriter Corey Mejai’s latest release, Stuck inside a Lost Dream.
The downtempo release allows the acoustic guitar chords to dominate the minimalist instrumental arrangement that is laced with trippy ethereal effect to add even more mesmerising beguile to the post-punk tinged indie-folk single.
Stuck Inside a Lost Dream is due for release on July 21st; you can check it out for yourselves by heading over to Soundcloud. For more info, head over to Corey Mejai’s website.
‘Let Tonight End’ is the latest single released by singer-songwriter, artist and producer Zack Tomasko; the urgency and emotion contained in the release paired with the duality between the light and dark textures amplify the sincerity found in the lyricism. Discernibly, Tomasko tore his heart off his sleeve and poured it into the stormy, resonantly manic release.
Let Tonight End may start with stark reminiscence to the likes of Nick Cave and Jack Ladder but as the pensive piano-led soundscape progresses, warm, jazzy, and soulful tones start to work themselves into the score as Zack Tomasko’s vocals make a seamless shift from deadpan direct lyrical deliverances to ardent, soul-exposing indie crooning.
Let Tonight End is now available to stream via Spotify.
The idea of archaic disease probably won’t leave your heart beating faster in any positive way but the latest subversively amorous single from [ai], ‘Love in the Time of Tuberculosis’, definitely can.
If you can imagine what would happen if Nick Cave’s macabre mind melded with Tim Minchin’s ability to lyrically laugh in the face of mortality and the not so romantic aspects of existence, you’ll get an idea of what is on offer in this uniquely captivating soundscape.
The baroquely theatrical pop track comes with Brian May-style guitar solos, arresting piano-led progressions and [ai]’s ability to pull poetic parallels from across the ages. The single is a poignant reminder that the world has always been full of catastrophe, and it didn’t just start going to pot in 2020, we’ve had 100 years of adversity, no matter how much we feel personally slighted in the present.
You can check out Love in the Time of Tuberculosis for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.
In the same way you wouldn’t want to strike up a conversation with someone that had nothing to say, we should be mindful of which artists we take the time to listen to, any amount of time spent listening to Irish singer-songwriter, Bill E Daly will be well-invested.
The lifelong artist may have only just started to make waves as a solo artist, but after decades honing in on their craft and increasing the value of their introspection, there has been no better time to get acquainted with his unique alt-folk sound.
Their latest single ‘The World is Waiting’ was penned during the first lockdown in 2020 after sympathetically witnessing the impact of lockdown on young adults. While many struggle to see past their own plight, Bill E Daly extended his compassion to some of those hardest hit by the pandemic. Everything feels like it’s the end of the world to those still adjusting to adulthood, the levels of despair while the world stands still is unimaginable.
With reminiscences to Nick Cave, PJ Harvey and other alchemists of alt-folk who aren’t afraid to experiment with darker tones on the sonic palette, The World is Waiting atmospherically encapsulates the dull view which so many have taken upon the world. Lyrically, Bill E Daly finds unique ways to inspire optimism and instil confidence.
It’s a stunning single transpired from just as stunning sentiment.
The World is Waiting is now available to stream via Spotify.