Browsing Tag

Tom Waits

Paul Bidault – Who Do You Think You Are?: Dark Swinging Murder-Folk

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.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Award-winning alt-folk artist Colin Clyne has released his latest single, ‘Within Hindsight’

Colin Clyne

Award-winning Scottish alt-folk singer-songwriter Colin Clyne’s latest single, Within Hindsight, takes you back to the time when ballads were tender and minimal instrumentation carried alchemically profound magnetism.

The tones in Within Hindsight are enough to evoke synaesthesia as you drink in the sepia colours weaved into the acoustic guitar progression and soft neo-classic-style meanderings of the piano. The gravelly whisky-soaked vocals hit the high notes with soaring ease, allowing Clyne to exhibit both his arresting vocal range and emotional range. They say that there are 34,000 possible human emotions, Within Hindsight resonates as capable of evoking most of them.

After spending ten years in California collecting accolades, including being a two-time winner of ‘The Best Acoustic Act’ at San Diego Music Awards, and featuring on a list of the best singer-songwriters curated by NBC that listed him alongside Tom Waits, it is safe to say that he made quite the impression. There is no reason why he can’t celebrate the same success on this side of the pond.

Within Hindsight is due for official release on June 25th.

You can check out Colin Clyne via his website, Facebook and Instagram.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Hunter & Girton – Father Time: Solemnly Compassionate Alt Folk

Hunter & Girton

Rural Indiana-residing alt-folk duo, Hunter & Girton, are set to release their most haunting single to date, ‘Father Time’. The sparse and desolate soundscape leaves plenty of room for your own emotions to coalesce with the sentiments delivered through the lyrics which will hold a mirror to your personal relationship with melancholy.

There may be a crestfallen air to Father Time, but it’s anything but depressive. The solemnly meditative single parallels the levels of compassion found in the most tender tracks from Pearl Jam’s latest album while delivering tear-jerking tones which lend inspiration from 60s Folk.

Father Time is due for official release on March 5th. You’ll be able to check it out for yourselves by heading over to the artist’s official website.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Nathan Rodd revived old school alt-folk blues with their sonorously sonic single ‘Natalie’

How do you make old school alt-folk blues just as mesmerising as Tom Waits did in the 70s? You’ll find the answer in up and coming artist, Nathan Rodd’s, debut EP ‘Slowly’.

The standout single ‘Natalie’, finds the perfect balance of sonorous sonic power and delicate intrigue right from the intro. From there on out, pulled along by the tightly packed, intricately progressions which bleed nuances of jazz. But there’s nothing nuanced about the full-frontal emotion which unequivocally confirms that romance is still alive in 2021.

The distinctively raspy whisky-stained vocals give the soundscape an archaic touch while the masterfully dynamic production makes sure that Natalie wouldn’t be out of place on contemporary airwaves.

Nathan Rodd’s debut EP is now available to stream via Spotify.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

P.B Ruck – Some Love: Sonorously Sentimental Americana Folk

Under the influence of Cohen, Waits and Dylan, Southampton-hailing artist, P.B Ruck, released their sonorously powerful latest single ‘Some Love’; the sense of romanticism is just as old school as the sepia-stained tones in the meditative Americana folk soundscape.

Through spatial effect and lyrical sparsity, Some Love is just as much about your introspection and amorous nostalgia as it is about the artist’s. With a touch of modernity on the production, folk roots are firmly implanted in the mix, but it blossoms through the tender vocals which resonate with a nuanced touch of celestially choral mesmerism.

Some Love was released on December 28th, it is available to stream via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Vincent Sonder lights up our day with ‘Camel Lights’

In his day job, Vincent Sonder – the alter-ego of celebrated filmmaker Joe Connor – has worked with bands as diverse as The Rolling Stones, Sam Smith, Coldplay, Paul Weller, The Maccabees, and Placebo (among others), and that shoulder-rubbing pedigree has obviously stood him in good stead when it comes to his own creative flow. Recorded in 2017 but only now available across streaming services, ‘Vincent Sonder’ the album is a gorgeous, glorious affair, and ‘Camel Lights’ is a perfect introduction.

Beautiful, exquisite piano accompanies Sonder’s mellow storytelling vocal, the lyrical flow creating a perfect mood of contemplation and reverie, dreamlike and meditative, with a narrative feel that tells the story of ‘the memory of a man that I can’t find’. It’s bewitching, evocative, and anecdotal, made all the more memorable by the interplay with the second, female vocal intertwined between Sonder’s lead and those plaintive minor piano chords; you listen, and you can practically see cigarette smoke drifting from a discarded ashtray, monochrome, in the rain. It’s beautiful.

Follow Vincent Sonder on Instagram; hear ‘Camel Lights’, and the rest of the album, on Spotify.

Review by Alex Holmes

LEE DAVEY has painted a stark meta portrait with their swampy demonic folk rock single ‘Incubus’

We’ve all had spare time to spend with our demons in recent months, Alt Rock artist LEE DAVEY spent plenty of time mentally frolicking demonic spirits before penning their darkly hypnotic single ‘Incubus’.

Nick Cave comparisons are easy to make, especially with the ‘red right hand’ lyrical reference but allowing you to believe that Incubus is solely an assimilative work would be nothing short of criminal. The mythology-laden lyricism allows LEE DAVEY to transcend the Murder Folk genre and enter the realm of Demonic Folk Rock. Expect slithering rhythms, tinges of swampy Americana Alt Folk and searing solo work which affirms that LEE DAVEY’s prowess as an instrumentalist parrels their abilities as a lyricist. The dark imagery he paints with does more than just leave a macabre canvas behind. It exposes the darkest corners of our minds, the ones we can barely look into ourselves, let alone invite others to see.

You can check out Incubus for yourselves by heading over to YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

Lucas Penner has taken Post Punk to a seriously slick new stratosphere with “So Well”

Lucas Penner

You’d be hard-pressed to find old-school crooning alongside cold Post Punk tones and slick Setzer-style rock n roll grooves anywhere other than Toronto-based artist Lucas Penner’s standout single ‘So Well’.

So, you may as well hit play on the beguilingly masterful release which puts a neo twist on baroque. The styling may be on the archaic side, but you can expect a retro-futuristic earworm to crawl in your ear from the outset.

Any fans of Nick Cave, Tom Waits or Fable Cry will definitely appreciate the insidious air to the murder folk-style lyricism which will allow you to feel like you’re being aurally dragged into a hellish stratosphere.

You can check out So Well for yourselves from October 27th via YouTube.

Review by Amelia Vandergast

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

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