Ok, so first things first; yes, this is a cover of Bob Seger’s classic anti-war song, from Seger’s ‘Ramblin, Gamblin Man’ album in 1968, at the height of the Vietnam war and as anti-war sentiment in the US was growing. It’s interesting to see how much, and yet how little, has changed in the intervening 53 years – anti-war feelings still run high, race-related civil rights issues still grace the news seemingly every day, and LGBT rights are still abused and debated daily.
Into that mix comes HEwas, singer, songwriter, activist and LGBT campaigner. Already a ‘million stream’ artist with his first two releases, ‘Lemon’ and ‘WHOLEthing’, which featured Grammy nominee Afroman. Now, with ‘2 + 2 = ?’, HEwas has taken that old Seger classic, with updated instrumentation but no change to the feel and groove of the original, making a perfect homage meets timely update to a pertinent and completely relevant song, to produce an utterly modern take on a song that’s as relevant today as it was fifty years ago.
You can hear ‘2 + 2 = ?’, and the rest of HEwas’ releases, on Spotify, and follow on Instagram.
If you’re sick of vapid rock n roll, melt into the ardent grooves of Andy John Jones’ latest funk-infused soul-rock serenade, ‘Closer’.
By channelling 70s-era Stones vibes while laying their affable soul down around bluesy hooks, Closer is the ultimate testament to the Birmingham-born artist’s talent when it comes to creating indulgent explorations of romantic frustration to timelessly enamouring tones.
The production may be smooth, but that didn’t stop plenty of lyrical grit entering the track which became an exposition of the danger of sex traps which ensnare us and keep us trapped in toxic dynamics. It’s tragically rare to hear ‘real talk’ when it comes to sex within lyricism, here’s to hoping that Andy John Jones starts a trend.
Closer is due for official release on January 22nd, you can check it out by heading over to their official website.
After a successful 2020 debut, Italian guitarist and compositor under the moniker of M.O.S. 73 Project released their third soul-infused indie rock single ‘Don’t Speak to Me’. The track title may set you up for confrontation and dejection, but it contrasts the amorous soundscape which carries the same passion as tracks by Seal, Beck and Billy Ocean.
With elements of old school rock and soul spilling from fresh talent, you’ll be simultaneously hit with nostalgia and awe at the virtuosic modernistic prowess which seems so effortlessly exuded by M.O.S. 73 Project.
If you don’t feel something when you hit play, you may be dead from the soul down.
You can check out M.O.S. 73 Project’s latest release via Spotify.
‘Control’ commences with a beautifully delicate and twisting legato guitar line, at once both soulful and almost Country, and with a flourish that wouldn’t feel out of place in the ‘Young Guns’ soundtrack, before Ysabel Bain’s exquisite, tender-yet-smoky voice carries us into the soul of the first verse, rising with the cadence of the drums to a funky, soulful track. Characterised by the syncopated off-beat guitar and deep funk bass, ‘Control’ grooves and sashays its way out of the speakers, rising and falling between up-tempo R&B sexiness and that slower, perfectly flourished guitar-and-voice pairing.
And Bain really DOES have a voice; sonorous, mellow yet powerful, with the warmth of Gospel and Soul yet the raunchy edge of rock. Soaring and potent yet touching and beguiling all at once, ‘Control’ is the perfect taster for Ysabel Bain’s debut EP.
Filmed and recorded live at The Clarendon Centre, Ysabel’s “We Are” EP is available from the end of November. ‘Control’ is available on Soundcloud or via Ysabel’s Facebook page.
With Zach Robinson’s aural inspirations ranging from Rush to The Police to Red Hot Chilli Peppers to Billy Joel, you’ll get a serious hit of soulful nostalgia when you hit play on their standout single “Change” on their 2020 EP “Evolve”.
It kicks off with smooth seductive popping grooves before the Alt Rock elements start to dominate the soundscape and replace the funky ska rhythms with ardent licks of Rock which add an overwhelming amount of intensity to the track.
Change is a stunning release. The energy. The urgency. The passion. The talent. Each aspect combines to leave you feeling like your own soul has transcended when you get to the outro of this inherently stylistic mix.
You can check out Zach Robinson’s single out for yourselves by heading over to Spotify.
Mr Bungle fans will definitely want to turn their attention to the eccentrically Funk-driven feat of Alt Rock which is the latest release from up and coming artist Takeaway Sessions.
With “Funky Lemon” also carrying reminiscences to artists such as Frank Zappa, it’s an aural treat for anyone who appreciates nuanced music which doesn’t take itself all too seriously. With layers of upbeat Psych infused into the guitar-led groove-deep euphoric mix, Funky Lemon is an instantly uplifting hit. And Takeaway Sessions perceptibly didn’t hold back with how much soul they injected into the highly polished mix.
Funky Lemon may offer an array of aural nostalgias, but you’ve never quite heard a Funk revival like this one before.
You can check out the latest release from Takeaway Sessions by heading over to Spotify.
You’d be forgiven for believing that artists have lost the ability to pour Soul into the Rock genre. Thankfully, up and coming South London-based singer songwriter Jo-Ash has laced his indulgently high-octane upcoming single “Humble Heart of Mine” with plenty of unadulterated emotion. Right from the first verse, the accessibility which is brought through his harmonic vocals hits you, pulling you further into the guitar-led track incorporates plenty of intricate progressions. Switching from soaring Blues riffs to Funk-driven chords, Jo-Ash’s single serves it all up on a plate of anthemic alchemy. Just as the soundscape constantly and seamlessly changes, as do the striking vocals from Jo-Ash whose vocal strength, range and vitality is beyond compelling.
You’ll can check out Jo-Ash’s latest single Humble Heart of Mine for yourselves on YouTube.
While many artists like to limit the amount of soul which they pour into Rock soundscapes Indiana Heights is a refreshing exception. I mean, imagine how infectiously upbeat the Arctic Monkeys would be if they threw away their ‘cool’ pretence and hit you with nothing but anthemic soul? That’s exactly what you can expect from the debut single “Smooth Operator” from Indiana Heights. You only have to hit play to share in the same hype which the track was created with.
The single incorporates plenty of Jazz rhythm in the magnetically uplifting single; even though Jazz may not be the most accessible genre to most, Indiana Heights is the perfect introduction. You’ll hear the intricately immersive blues rhythms blend with the classically euphoric style of the Jazz instrumentals.
If your playlists are short of a feel-good hit you can check out Indiana Height’s latest single Smooth Operator for yourselves by heading over to YouTube now.
If blues, soul and rock music are cousins sharing grand-parentage and similar DNA, then Bentley Caldwell is the equivalent of a family gathering, a joyous reunion and a celebration all rolled into one. It’s also a party where the hired band features Van Morrison, Otis Redding and Ray Charles leading The Asbury Dukes through some of the coolest music of the last 60 years. It is that timeless spirit that Bentley Caldwell manages to infuse his music with, and Mr Almost is a blend of soul dripping saxophones, funky grooves, bluesy riffs, cool Hammonds and Stax attacks, all threaded together so brilliantly that you can’t see the join.
It is the sound of trucker music bars blending into back street Chicago blues clubs which in turn become the sound of a rocking chair creaking on a back porch as the screen door slams, Mary’s dress sways and there is a distinct possibility that Roy Orbison is playing on the radio. It is the sound of an alternative, or at least fairly forgotten path that music took when it should have become the mainstream sound. It is the sound of a midnight ritual designed to re-animate the zombie corpse of the muse of music that mattered, still matters and will continue to matter, long after the current boy band fad has returned to a day job where the main concern is asking the customer if they want fries with that!