Sunday, 24 April 2016

TANITA TIKARAM – SINGLE REVIEW

Tanita Tikaram – The Way You Move 
Tanita Tikaram - The Way You Move


Release Date: Out Now

Well, I have to admit that Tanita Tikaram was a name from my past that I didn’t expect to see crop up in my inbox but, many years after bleeding through the walls from my sister’s bedroom, here she is again. I should clarify, Tikaram didn’t literally bleed through my walls in some terrifying blood covered apparition – I just meant her music. This new single, ‘The Way You Move’, is a lively, acoustic lead tune that lends itself to swaying hips, late evening sunshine and plenty of fruit based cocktails. Tikaram’s voice is recognisably husky yet smooth as the guitars sashay effortlessly along the Mediterranean cost from Saint Tropez to Barcelona. The video dances the line between cheezy and unashamedly fun but features a lot of escalator footage and it turns out that escalators are kinda my bag. Not the most groundbreaking piece of music I’ve ever heard but it’s fun and it sounds like Tanita had fun making it so I’m on board.



Live Dates:

24th May – Alte Oper, Frankfurt Am Main w/Concha Buika

23rd July – Manefestivalen, Fredrikstad

HANNAH TRIGWELL – SINGLE REVIEW

Hannah Trigwell – Another Beautiful Mistake 
Hannah Trigwell - Another Beautiful Mistake


Release Date: Out Now

Anyone introduced to me as a ‘Youtube phenomenon’ immediately rings my alarm bells and makes me wary but then I have to remind myself that this is the world we live in now and I should just get over my prejudices. Hannah Trigwell’s single, ‘Another Beautiful Mistake’, is riding on the wave of that online fame but she’s backing it up with some dates at a few of the UK’s most iconic venues. Sonically, this is an acoustic meander with smooth vocals and melodies based around the kind of structure that the likes of One Direction and Ed Sheeran use with such success. However, a dance beat kicks in and suddenly we’re in a Passenger-esque summer anthem that will surely go down a storm in the bars of Ibiza and could stand a pumped up remix. Trigwell’s voice is smooth and understated in a sultry way that works with both the acoustic elements and the Ministry of Sound Chillout sessions parts too. Turns out the Youtube community might just be on to something.


Live Dates:

10th May – King Tuts, Glasgow
11th May – Barfly, London
12th May – Louisiana, Bristol
13th May – Sound Control, Manchester
19th May – The Great Escape, Brighton

4th June – Nomad Festival, Cologne

LEAONE – SINGLE REVIEW

Leaone – Young Green Eyes 
Leaone - Young Green Eyes


Release Date: Out Now

Now I don’t want to judge a book by its cover but when you read that an artist has created a video to accompany his new single and done so using only footage taken of his ex-girlfriend on a holiday in Paris then you could be forgiven for thinking things might get a bit stalky. The sombre opening chords don’t do much to help this vibe either but then again this isn’t a happy clappy song. ‘Young Green Eyes’ is a dark, Cash-esque slice of blindie (that’s bleak indie, a new genre I just made up). Leaone’s voice is seductively deep and smooth in a way that makes me want to crawl in to bed and want to get over a breakup with only that vocal tone to wrap myself up. Rich musicianship, dark tones and that sense of utter, soul destroying loss you feel when you break up with the person you thought was ‘the one’ all blend like oil and sand to make a thick, inescapable and sticky mess. I think you’re well shot though mate, I mean, she chews gum with her mouth open. Who does she think she is, a Pink Lady?



Saturday, 23 April 2016

URSA MAJOR – SINGLE REVIEW

Ursa Major – 5AM/Intro 
Ursa Major - 5AM/Intro


Release Date: Out Now

I love this kid. I say kid as he’s younger than me but that applies to an increasing large proportion of the world’s population. Anyway, aging issues aside, Toronto soloist Ursa Major is back with a new single, ‘5AM/Intro’, which comes in at just under three minutes but is as far from Punk as you can get. Blissed out melodies and sparse beats are soon bounced in to life with a bulging bass line and Ursa Major semi-sung rap style. The small town angst played out against a slow-jam is an intriguing and enthralling proposition so when you throw in the nod to global McDonaldisation in the repeated “I’m loving it” lyric this song just develops multi-layer before your eyes. Ursa Major is a mysterious character for sure but I love the fact that he’s creating music that he wants to put out there and his output is all the better for that honesty and passion. New EP coming soon, keep an ear out for that one.


Tuesday, 19 April 2016

ATTICA RIOTS – SINGLE REVIEW

Attica Riots – Misery 
Attica Riots - Misery


Release Date: Out Now

So Canada have consistently impressed and surprised me over the years that I’ve been writing this blog, more so than any other country, so the pressure is on for Winnipeg trio Attica Riots and their debut single, ‘Misery’. Fortunately, the 80s influenced video and Muse meets Duran Duran vibe of the tune appeals to me in a whole host of ways. A poppy bassline, unashamedly poppy synths and the kind of confident frontman performance you’d expect from Brandon Flowers or Michael Hutchence on a really good day – what a combination!? This is high class pop music and the kind of effort that most bands only come out with after they’re fully established so these guys have got chops as well. “I see what I what I wanna see, oh sweet misery take what you what you want from me”, now that’s a pop chorus lyric and then some, eh?



Live Dates:

19th May – The Fillmore, Philadelphia

20th May – Music Hall of Williamsburg

FAT RELIC – SINGLE REVIEW

Fat Relic – Better Alone 
Fat Relic - Better Alone


Release Date: Out Now

You can argue until the cows come home about which music is cooler, more worthy or speaks to your soul more – trust me, I’ve seen those cows coming through the door – but if you give me a nice bass grove and some sexy horns then I’m happy to just dance the night away. London collective Fat Relic have ticked both of those boxes on new single ‘Better Alone’ but there is also a delightful soup of scratchy guitars, smooth keys and a tight rhythm bubbling away to keep the mood swinging. Fat Relic mix soul, funk and old skool rhythm and blues to make a tune that is sure to get any party swinging but it’s the musicianship across the band that really grabs the attention. These guys are primed to be a smash on the festival circuit in the same way that Tankus the Henge have burst through in the last 18 months. A band this good on record has to be great live, right?


Monday, 18 April 2016

PHOEBE ROBINSON – SINGLE REVIEW

Phoebe Robinson – Daytime T.V./From The Ash (Foof Records) 
Phoebe Robinson - Daytime T.V. / From The Ash


Release Date: Out Now

I’m not going to make any mustard or Partridge references but suffice to say Phoebe Robinson is from Norwich – not the musical mecca that some might expect such a talent to hail from. The wondrous folk at Foof Records have unearthed Ms Robinson and this double A-side single is an absolute delight. ‘Daytime T.V.’ is a delicately woozy number with all manner of samples, melodies and sounds swirling around like the possibilities laid out in front of a young and hopeful optimist. Vocally, this is as close to the criminally underrated Zoe Johnston as it’s possible to get and that fits musically as well if you consider the work ZJ did with Bent back in the day. ‘From The Ash’ is more angelic and pure, like a crisp morn in the countryside where only a curious robin moves on the immediate horizon. Robinson’s voice is clear and icy cool as the gentle, rippling guitar provides the early morning warmth of a slept in blanket and you would be hard pushed not to fall in love with Robinson as her Marling-esque phrasing turns in to a chaotic and semi-cacophonic crescendo. In the space of two songs, Phoebe Robinson has entirely enthralled me and I would urge you all to take the opportunity to grab yourself a free download from the link below – I know I have.




Live Dates:


25th June – Waterfront Studio, Norwich w/Avec Sans + Abigail Blake