Wednesday, 22 March 2017

THE RUNNING LIGHTS – SINGLE REVIEW

The Running Lights – Once Upon a Time
The Running Lights - Once Upon a Time

Release Date: 31st March 2017

New York trio The Running Lights open this single up with a bassline, a clicked beat and the breathless vocal “I just can’t the pain of being lead on and let down by somebody who I’m nothing to”. This is heartbreak from the start and ‘Once Upon a Time’ is a cautionary tale of letting your heart rule your head but also comes as slightly stalky in some of the lyrics. Whatever your take on the sentiment, however, the music should suit fans of more recent Maroon 5 or Coldplay’s work with Chainsmokers with its indie-pop vibe and clean, almost sparse musicianship. As cool and sophisticated as you’d expect from a bunch of New Yorkers.


Live Dates:

27th March – The Bowery Electric, New York
20th April – Pianos, New York
24th May – Rockwood Music Hall Stage 2, New York

Watch The Video: 

RIVAL KARMA – SINGLE REVIEW

Rival Karma – Scream 
Rival Karma - Scream

Release Date: Out Now

London blues rockers Rival Karma have a new single out in the shape of ‘Scream’ and the shape of scream is a dirty, riff heavy piece of rock’n’roll. Think Buckcherry, Reef or Orphic Soop with the slickness of ‘Dakota’ era Stereophonics all wrapped up in a Maroon 5 package just ready to drive the ladies wild. Sure, this isn’t genre defying or boundary pushing but it is good, solid, funky rock’n’roll with just enough swagger about it to make it interesting. As Rival Karma say, sometimes you’ve just got to “Scream and shout, let it all out tonight”.


Live Dates:

13th April – The Islington, London


CHUCK BERRY – SINGLE REVIEW

Chuck Berry – Big Boys (Dualtone/Decca Records)
Chuck Berry - Big Boys

Release Date: Out Now

2016 may have taken some modern stars of music away from us but 2017 has taken a true legend in the form of Chuck Berry. The silver lining to this cloud is that, before he went, Chuck recorded a ten track album of completely new material and this single is the first shot across the bows from that collection, due out in June. ‘Big Boys’ chimes out with that trademark guitar sound and some splendid honky-tonk piano. Then Chuck slides in, hitting those notes bang on without a hint of his advancing years and oh boy does he sound like he’s having fun. The gang vocals in the chorus and rolling drum fills are just a joy to behold but when you remember that this was written and recorded when the man was coming to the end of his 80s, well, it makes you realise how much fun there is still to have. The new album features Berry’s son, grandson, long time band mates and distinguished guests like Tom Morello and Gary Clark Jr. so I would urge you to make allowance in your June budget for ‘Chuck’ the album.


Watch The Video: 

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

JERRY WILLIAMS – SINGLE REVIEW

Jerry Williams – I’m Not In Love With You
Jerry Williams - I'm Not In Love With You

Release Date: Out Now

I must admit, I’ve not been entirely convinced by the furore around Portsmouth Princess Jerry Williams in the past but this latest single has won me over so consider me converted. ‘I’m Not Love With You’ sits somewhere between Lily Allen, Alice Jemima, Belle and Sebastian and Kate Nash with that mix of sweet and sour coming across beautifully in this slice of aloof indie-pop shuffles as sultry as can be down Carnaby Street through the last 4 decades. Guitars jangle, the drums bounce like Ringo in his prime and Williams sings with a mixture of sadness and steeliness that really shouldn’t work with this kind of bubblegum indie-pop but it adds something fresh. Like the burn you get in your throat after a smooth shot of whisky.


Live Dates:

28th March – The Waiting Room, London

Watch The Video: 

Monday, 20 March 2017

CISSI FORSS – SINGLE REVIEW

Cissi Forss – The Way
Cissi Forss - The Way

Release Date: Out Now

It might sound like a really contrived joke set-up but this song is borne from a Swedish fashion house (Gina Tricot) wanting to create a campaign around sustainable use of denim, then recruiting Swedish actress Cissi Forss to rap over a tune created by Swedish producer pair Falcor. It might sound bonkers but when you get in to the song, ‘The Way’, it just gets weirder. Furious handclaps and an up-tempo dance melody all make sense to an extent but then comes Forss’ rapping which is like something out of a compelling Eurovision tune. Sure, it’s a little bit preachy but the message is a good one (reuse, don’t over wash clothes, recycle) even if the shoe-horning of the word sustainable is increasingly difficult. The video is equally bizarre with Forss starting off chatting with her own reflection before dancing around a factory looking like a Status Quo groupie in head-to-toe denim. Then the action shifts to India and things get more colourful if not any less ‘unique’. The message and the melody is a strong one but it’s also incredibly hard to make a song about not washing your jeans twice a week particularly engaging. Good effort though.


Watch The Video: 

CHLOE MARTINI – SINGLE REVIEW

Chloe Martini – Dark Noise 
Chloe Martini - Dark Noise


Release Date: Out Now

The opening bars of this tune are skittish and suggest some Grime or dark Hip-Hop influences but then this new single from Warsaw’s Chloe Martini switches up to feisty, dirty alt-pop track that is as sexy as it is aggressive. ‘Dark Noise’ (great title) shunts, grinds and skips like a bona fide party anthem as Martini sings “your wicked smile can’t break me, break me this time”. There’s soul, rap, pop, dance and a whole lot of night time fun to be had with this urban track which, if I’m honest, is not a sound I expected to be coming out Poland. My bad for not having a more open mind.



BECCA STEVENS – SINGLE REVIEW

Becca Stevens feat. Laura Mvula – Well Loved 
Becca Stevens - Well Loved


Release Date: Out Now

When one of New York’s prime Jazz vocalists teams up with one of the finest Brit singers of the last 10 years you know you’ve got to be in for a treat. Becca Stevens’ new single ‘Well Loved’ is a light, perky piece of hope and fresh romance that bounces around on erratic rhythms that would fit in on any Tori Amos or Kimbra album. As the song builds and climaxes with intermingling and increasingly layered vocals it’s hard not to fall in love with this tune which is, ironically, about the joy of being loved. Enjoy.


Live Dates:

30th March – Album Launch, Brooklyn
31st March – Billy Childs: Map to the Treasure, Washington
6th April – Terrace Club, Princeton
7th April – Arch Street Tavern, Hartford
8th April – Riverwalk Café and Music Bar, Nashua
9th April – The Red Room at Café 939, Boston
10th April – Radio Bean, Burlington
11th April – Funk’n’Waffles, Syracuse
12th April – Buffalo Iron Works, Buffalo
13th April – City News, Indianapolis
14th April – Sqaure Cat Vinyl, Indianapolis
17th April – City Winery, Chicago
18th April – Zanzabar, Louisville
19th April – Cosmic Charlie’s, Lexington
20th April – 5 Spot, Nashville
21st April – Thomas Street, Charlotte
22nd April – Beyu Café, Durham
26th April – Isis, Asheville
28th April – High Rock Outfitters, Lexington
29th April – Marietta Jazz and Jokes, Marietta
5th May – O2 Academy, London w/Snarky Puppy
16th May – L’Aeronef, Lille w/Snarky Puppy
17th May – Le Rocher do Palmer, Cenon w/Snarky Puppy
18th May – L’Olympia, Paris w/Snarky Puppy
19th May – La Cooperative de Mai, Clermont
20th May – L’Amphitheatre de la Cite Internationale, Lyon w/Snarky Puppy
22nd May – Batschkapp, Frankfurt w/Snarky Puppy
23rd May – Substage, Karlsruhe w/Snarky Puppy
24th May – Kaufleuten, Zurich w/ Snarky Puppy

27th July – Stimmen Festival, Lorrach w/Jacob Collier