Monday, 16 October 2017

ALEX HEDLEY – SINGLE REVIEW

Alex Hedley – This Life 
Alex Hedley - This Life


Release Date: 20th October 2017

It always intrigues me when you come across musicians who have ‘gone solo’ but you’ve never heard of the band in question. It’s like introducing yourself to women as divorced. Nevertheless, Alex Hedley was once in a band called Saturday Sun and that might be helpful context for some but for me, ‘This Life’, stands up on its own merits and should probably just get itself on Tinder. Opening with a lazily strummed acoustic riff that speaks of end of film credits and deep, satisfied sighs as you turn out the lights. There’s an interesting blend of thoroughly English sounding vocals with melodies that come from a place that the Lemonheads usually occupy. Stir in a building intensity and rawness of instrumentation and you’re on to a heady brew that will surely help you sleep tonight. Hedley has more than a touch of class about him and certainly a hint of the cinematic about the way his arrangements build. In short, he’s an excellent song-writer and doesn’t need anyone else’s help to make good music.


Live Dates:

28th October – Vinyl Grove, The Hague
4th November – Hawthorns Hotel Bar, Glastonbury

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Y.O.U.N.G. – SINGLE REVIEW

Y.O.U.N.G. - Exposure 
Y.O.U.N.G. - Exposure


Release Date: Out Now

There is one reason I write this blog and one reason alone; the pursuit of exciting new music. During that pursuit, I come across a lot of good bands, some awful musicians and the occasional moment of gloriousness – Manchester collective Y.O.U.N.G. fall firmly in to that last category. This is my first time of hearing the group and this single, ‘Exposure’, got my attention within seconds using a riff that sounds like the young Arctic Monkeys having a go at a Rage Against the Machine cover and then the rest of the band kick in and things just kick off. The bass snakes in, the drums go directly for your rib-cage and the fierce spitting starts like Zach de la Rocha is back in the house with all that youthful exuberance. Then, just when you think you know where this is going, they throw in a chorus that sounds like Years & Years mixing with the Streets. This is agitated, melodic, danceable and entirely addictive so I am, of course, hooked. I expect the live show is insane and I’m going to pin my colours to the mast to say that 2018 could and should be a big year for Y.O.U.N.G. if there’s any justice. They’re a bitch to Google though.


Watch the video: 


Sunday, 15 October 2017

AREA RESIDENT – SINGLE REVIEW

Area Resident – Riverside 
Area Resident - Riverside


Release Date: Out Now

Now I get a lot of music sent to me from a lot of different weird and wonderful corners of the world and that is something that I get a kick out of. This, however, is the first time I’ve received any recorded material from an Ottowan traffic reporter who has won awards for journalism and I have to admit, it’s thrown me slightly. Anyway, Area Resident is the assumed name of this lone reporter and his new single, ‘Riverside’ is certainly a fresh sounding tune. Take the scuzzy guitars of Weezer or the Dandy Warhols in their early days but the laid-back vibe of Midlake or the Lemonheads and you’re getting close to the sound Area Resident creates. The accompanying video is virtually a tourist board promotion piece for Ottowa but with our hero pretty much the only person left so it has a slightly strange post-apocalyptic feel (every indie guy’s dream of being left alone in a beautiful landscape with a studio and a bunch of records). This is perfect music for a sunny Sunday afternoon as the Summer starts to depart and I feel like I could easily have a beer with Area Resident – or at the very least trust his traffic reports implicitly.


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PHILIP WHITEHEAD – SINGLE REVIEW

Philip Whitehead – The Paper Man’s Blues 
Philip Whitehead - The Paper Man's Blues


Release Date: Out Now

West London lad Philip Whitehead is back with another single and the rejoicing should surely begin – not too loud though, this is a delicate number. New track ‘The Paper Man’s Blues’ is barely two and a half minutes of delicate guitar notes and confessional vocals that are perfect for a rainy afternoon in England. There’s a whole record collection all bundled up in this song from Dylan’s ‘Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right’ to Ryan Adams, Evan Dando, Badly Drawn Boy and David Kitt in each soulful melodic slide and warmly fingered guitar string. If you told me this was on the soundtrack of ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ then I would entirely believe you and I love that film so take that as a compliment. More please.


Live Dates:


28th October – Luna Lounge, London w/Mia Riaz + Mark Matthews + Eva Jacobs

Saturday, 14 October 2017

TALITHA RISE – SINGLE REVIEW

Talitha Rise – Bloodfox 
Talitha Rise - Bloodfox


Release Date: 20th October 2017

There is something simultaneously creepy and comforting about the eerie piano notes that open up ‘Bloodfox’, the new single from Devon based singer-songwriter Talitha Rise. As the vocals sleepy drift in to the song on that soft cloud of piano notes the song takes on a dream-like quality and it’s hard not to just sink back in to your chair and take a deep breath. The percussion is minimalist to say the least while a bass drone creeps in and I’m reminded of the work of LWM favourite Seaker and the more isolated moments of the likes of Feist and Bat for Lashes. There’s a fairly distressing video to go along with this which has a slightly Kate Bush feel to its production quality and the same could be said of the closing vocals as Talitha Rise sings “Oh I’ve seen enough to last a life time”. Haunting, beautiful, engaging and deeply unsettling – just in time for Halloween then or the soundtrack of the next series of West World.


Live Dates:

15th October – Russell Hills’ Country Music Show, Portsmouth
21st October – Lewes Con Club, Lewes

Watch the Video: 


MATILDA GRACIA – SINGLE REVIEW

Matilda Gracia – Player (Dreamscope Media Group Ltd.) 
Matilda Gracia - Player


Release Date: Out Now

Matilda Gracia is half-Irish, half-Spanish and has a penchant for a bit of Janis Joplin. This is not a woman that you want to cross so I’m really hoping that I like this new single. ‘Player’ opens with a Santana inspired acoustic vs electric guitar riff that has a bit of funk about it and Matilda Gracia’s vocal is fierce, full of attitude and a sense of bitterness that is, frankly delicious. This feels like a modern-day version of Carly Simon’s ‘You’re So Vain’ in terms of the attitude but it’s far more energetic and frenetic which would allow you to dance to this more effectively than Simon’s more moody classic. Smooth, angry and delivered with clenched teeth and a sneer – like I said, not a woman to be crossed.


Live Dates:

22nd October – Stoke Newington Festival @ Mascara Bar, London

LOVER – SINGLE REVIEW


Lover – Fallen Famous 
Lover - Fallen Famous


Release Date: Out Now

Firstly, how has the name Lover never been used for a band before? Strong work. Anyway, on the London outfit’s new single, ‘Fallen Famous’, which has recently been getting some love from no less than Lord Lammo. Opening in a hedonistic squall of feedback, the tune soon settles in to a pulsing rhythm before the sultry vocals slide in a red dress holding a cigarette in elegant style. This is the kind of sophisticated electro-pop that only the British can produce in the same vein as Dubstar and St Etienne but, more importantly, the Human League and Alison Moyet. What I really love about this tune is the electro wig out and decent in to loops that the live drums keep pushing forwards. This is the direction Ellie Goulding should have gone in but she opted for shampoo adverts and skimpy clothes instead.




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