Sunday, 20 March 2016

CORINNE BAILEY RAE – SINGLE REVIEW

Corinne Bailey Rae – Green Aphrodisiac 
Corinne Bailey Rae - Green Aphrodisiac


Release Date: Out Now

I am so, so pleased to have Corinne Bailey Rae back on the musical agenda. CBR was always one of those genuinely talented artists who suffered some tragedy and bad luck at a key point in her career which could have seen her become nothing more than a foot note. But genuine talent always comes through in the end and a new album along with some serious touring (much of it with Lionel Richie) sees our heroine back in the frame, without a doubt. ‘Green Aphrodisiac’ is the first tune from the new album and it is just beautiful. That soft voice that preceded the likes of Laure Mvula is unfolded upon a luxurious bed of gentle organs and sparkling keys before a sexy beat kicks in and suddenly this is a full blown jazz-funk slow jam. Corrine’s voice is effortless but exceptional at the same time which is a clear sign of someone born to do it, as Craig David once said. Just in time for lazy, summery Sunday afternoon chillaxing, one of the greatest British voices ever returns and I can already feel the grass between my toes. Blissful.



Live Dates:

7th April – Tabernacle, London
30th April – Live at Leeds, Leeds
1st May – Cheltenham Jazz Festival, Cheltenham
20th May – Non-Commvention, Philadelphia
22nd May – U Street Music Hall, Washington
24th May – Mercury Lounge, New York
25th May – National Sawdust, Brooklyn
29th May – Seoul Jazz Festival, Korea
2nd June – The Triple Door, Seattle
3rd June – Mississippi Studios, Portland
6th June – The Independent, San Francisco
9th June – The Lyric Theatre, Los Angeles
10th June – The Lyric Theatre, Los Angeles
14th June – Eden Sessions, St Austell
15th June – Eden Sessions, St Austell
18th June – Liberty Stadium, Swansea
19th June – Eirias Stadium, Colwyn Bay
22nd June – Sheffield Arena, Sheffield
25th June – Weston Homes Community Stadium, Colchester
26th June – Kingsholm Stadium, Gloucester
28th June – Manchester Arena, Manchester
29th June – Manchester Arena, Manchester
2nd July – The O2, London
3rd July – The O2, London
6th July – The O2, London
7th July – Barclaycard Arena, Birmingham
9th July – Cornbury Music Festival, Chipping Norton
23rd July – Punchestown Music Festival, Kildare

29th July – Blue Balls Festival, Luzern

ACE WILDER – SINGLE REVIEW

Ace Wilder – Don’t Worry 
Ace Wilder - Don't Worry


Release Date: Out Now

So the job of this blog is to listen to as much new music as I physically can and pick out the tunes or artists of note – for better or worse. Now for some that would equate to having a high brow approach to everything I listen to but I’ve got a fun side too and Swedish pop starlet Ace Wilder appeals to that sense of fun in a big way. If ‘Don’t Worry’ was a Eurovision entry Wilder would surely win with this tune due to its infectious melody, upbeat piano riff, 90s horn blasts and the relentless energy bound up in the song. First world problems like kissing your boss, being subsequently unemployed and having slow Wi-Fi don’t bother our Ace, she’s on a mission to preach the good word of just not worrying and enjoying life regardless. Infectious, uplifting and huge pop fun in a way that only the Scandinavians can do.


Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lNMmFLYaRDs

Saturday, 19 March 2016

AMANDA MERDZAN – SINGLE REVIEW

Amanda Merdzan – Glow 
Amanda Merdzan - Glow


Release Date: Out Now

As with many musicians, the lure of London proved too much for Australian songwriter Amanda Merdzan so she has taken the plunge and relocated from Perth to be part of one the world’s most vibrant musical melting pots. But what ingredients does this songstress bring to the mix? Well, on the evidence of new single ‘Glow’, Merdzan brings a gentle elctro-pop beauty that blends Kate Bush, Lourdes, Lana Del Rey and any number of 80s power ballads that feature a lot of curtains billowing from open windows in black and white videos. The gently undulating synths, sparse beats and Merdzan’s softly sensuous voice all blend perfectly to create a modern late-night slow jam that would go down well after a night of dancing. Perth’s loss is London’s gain, for sure.



Live Dates:


 28th March – The Old Queens Head, London

VIOLET SOCIETY – SINGLE REVIEW

Violet Society – Nonsense 
Violet Society - Nonsense


Release Date: Out Now

So here’s a weird one; I have two step-sons called Joe and Alfie so when I received an email from a brotherly musical duo called Joe and Alfie I half suspected it to be the sound of a Casio being mutilated, some fierce drums and a lot of distorted screaming. In other words, a prank. It turns out that Joe and Alfir Prior are a Mancuncian duo who trade under the name of Violet Society and totally legit, who knew, right? The duo’s new single, ‘Nonsense’, an absolute belter from the word go and the wild-west style drums set the pace for his sub-three minute hurtle. The guitars and strings are dramatic and channel the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Ferocious Dog and Ennio Morricone which is an impressive array for a duo, never mind one so young in years and musical miles. I’m always drawn to siblings or partners in bands as I think it adds a certain energy that you don’t find elsewhere – that energy is working an absolute treat for Violet Society so more, much more, please.



VANESSA FORERO – SINGLE REVIEW

Vanessa Forero – Same Boat 
Vanessa Forero - Same Boat


Release Date: Out Now

Vanessa Forero’s last single came in to the LWM inbox like a breath of fresh air last year and was such a beautiful tonic that this new single got me very excited when it arrived and the fact that this is just a precursor to a debut EP is even more exhilarating. ‘Same Boat’ and the accompanying video are gorgeous individually but together they are a wonderful package. The twang of the picked out acoustic notes and Forero’s warm, silky vocal tones are utterly delectable in a Laura Marling meets Sound Of the Sirens kinda way. But then the video is joyously lo-fi, tongue in cheek and if anyone can fit mermaids, bubbles and a Victorian style theatre stage whilst maintaining artistic integrity, a sense of fun and some impressive cheek bone action it’s surely Vanessa Forero. Two singles in and so far this Yorkshire based Columbian is hitting all the right notes for me, I’m a fan for sure. The only question that remains is…..where is the tour!?!



Watch The Video: https://youtu.be/YN9oBVceDU0  

SUNSET SONS – SINGLE REVIEW

Sunset Sons – Know My Name 
Sunset Sons - Know My Name


Release Date: Out Now

Here’s a stomping beauty from the multinational and hardworking quartet, Sunset Sons. Driven by a relentless piano chord and thumping drums, ‘Know My Name’ is a summertime classic for cranking up to eleven and easing on to the open road as the sun comes up. There are bits of the Jim Jones Review, Brother and Bones and the anthemic qualities of Bruce Springsteen but what really stands out for me on this tune is the freshness, energy and honesty that oozes from every note and beat. At nearly four minutes long I think this song has a lot more to give when performed live and there’s room for a soft drum breakdown and some serious crowd participation. Sunset Sons are a band that I’ve known about for a while but never given much time to in the past, that won’t be the case anymore. Colour me impressed.



Live Dates:

23rd March – Newcastle University, Newcastle
24th March – QM Union, Glasgow
25th March – Leeds University, Leeds
26th March – O2 Ritz, Manchester
28th March – The Limelight, Belfast
29th March – The Academy, Dublin
30th March – O2 Institute, Birmingham
1st April – The Phoenix, Exeter [SOLD OUT]
2nd April – Princess Pavilion, Falmouth
3rd April – Y Plas Nightclub, Cardiff
4th April – Concorde 2, Brighton
6th April – KOKO, London
8th April – O2 Academy, Bournemouth
9th April – O2 Academy, Bristol
12th April – Effenaar, Eindhoven
13th April – Melkweg, Amsterdam
14th April – AB Club, Brussels
15th April – La Fleche d’Or, Paris
16th April – Salle du Kao, Lyon
18th April – Jarterei Club, Zurich
19th April – Bierhubeli, Bern
20th April – LKA Longhorn, Stuttgart
23rd April – Debaser Strand, Stockholm
24th April – Parkeateret, Oslo
25th April – VEGA Klub, Copenhagen
27th April – Uebel & Gefahrlich, Hamburg
28th April – PBHF Club, Berlin
29th April – Die Kantine, Cologne
30th April – Technikum, Munich
11th June – Isle Of Wight Festival, Isle Of Wight

18th June – Goldcast Oceanfest, Croyde

Tuesday, 15 March 2016

VIOLETIC - SINGLE REVIEW

Violetic - Figure It Out 
Violetic - Figure It Out

Release Date: 22nd March 2016

I had a shitty day today. No two ways about it. The day job sucked and my leg hurts. Not shitty on a global scale, just one of those Tuesdays that you'd rather leave behind and hope to hell that isn't your groundhog day. So sitting down, opening up my inbox and randomly selecting this single by London based trio Violetic was just a perfect tonic. 'Figure It Out' builds so beautifully broodingly, like a mood setting in and effecting everything you do until the cymbals crash around you as you have your Falling Down moment. The guitars scythe and snowball in the wake of their own distortion while the machine gun drums puncture the air and beat you around the head. Everyone deals with frustration in different ways, for some it's the gym but for me it's dark, brooding and intensely introspective music. Thank you Violetic, you should be on the NHS.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/violetic

Live Dates:


22nd March - Single Launch @ Servant Jazz Quarters, London w/Tidelines

Monday, 14 March 2016

GILLIAN NICOLA - SINGLE REVIEW

Gillian Nicola - Oh Marie 
Gillian Nicola - Oh Marie

Release Date: Out Now

Canadian songstress Gillian Nicola has an aura of honesty and authenticity about her, even from the way she writes her generic press release talking about her song like it's her own child. That child/song is 'Oh Marie' and it's a gently, soothingly beautiful piece that washes over your ears like warmth served up on a platter of familiarity. A soft but assured acoustic strum is nudged along by an understated rhythm section and some well placed lap steel that takes you south of the border in to Nashville territories. This isn't going to win any prizes for breaking boundaries or pushing limits, but sometimes you don't want a night out with crazy party animals, you just want to hang out with your oldest and most trusted friends and that's the place that this song inhabits.


Live Dates:

19th March - Acoustic Blend Cafe, Hamilton

20th March - The Casbah, Hamilton w/Ginger St. James

YAWNING DOG - SINGLE REVIEW

Yawning Dog - Sponge / /Heads 
Yawning Dog - Sponge / / Heads

Release Date: Out Now

A noisy little double A-side from Yorkshire noiseniks Yawning Dog? Oh go on then. First up is 'Sponge', a grinding, snarling, twisting post-grunge number that rattles and lunges with low slung attitude. Channelling the likes of Kerbdog and Mudhoney with a hint of Frank Black about the vocals, there is a deliciously sinister flavour to this track. 'Heads' is more of a straight up garage-punk number with ferocious beats and primal riffage evoking the spirit of Henry Rollins in his early days or Pere Ubu at his most eccentric. Uncompromising, frenetic and passionate but without compromising on a decent melody - 20 years ago Yawning Dog would have got a Peel session for sure but the best I can offer them is a good Mongering.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/yawningdogband/?fref=ts

Listen/Download: https://www.musicglue.com/yawning-dog/

Live Dates:


11th June - Long Division Festival, Wakefield

MT. WOLF - SINGLE REVIEW

Mt. Wolf - Anacrusis 
Mt. Wolf - Anacrusis

Release Date: 25th March 2016

Mt. Wolf are pretty much beautiful in every way. As lookers you wouldn't kick any one of them out of bed for farting but it's in their music that their beauty really shines through. New single 'Anacrusis' starts with an early morning trickle of guitars creeping in like sun around your curtains before the softly haunting voices and dull thud of a beat start to hint at what is in store. The building tune emerges over the horizon like the first morning of the summer holidays or daybreak at a festival, full of hope, excitement and possibility. The gentle surge of 'Anacrusis' continues to swell over an epic six and a half minutes which you might expect from an album closing track but these brave three amigos have only gone and put this out as a single. As the tune builds to an absolutely almighty crescendo you have to admire the beauty, bravery and talent of Mt. Wolf - their parents must be so proud.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/MtWolfOfficial/?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EyoFMIhcOkg&feature=youtu.be

Live Dates:

16th March - SXSW @ Tiniest Bar, Austin
17th March - SXSW @ Continental Club, Austin

10th May - Oslo, London w/Meadowlark

Sunday, 13 March 2016

VANGOFFEY - SINGLE REVIEW

Vangoffey - Sucker (Distiller Records) 
Vangoffey - Sucker

Release Date: 14th March 2016

So this is something of a indie supergroup and my appetite is officially whet. Put ex-Supergrass drummer Danny Goffey at the helm and then bring in Babyshambles guitarist Drew McConnell, Louis from Rialto and the offspring of Pulp bassist Steve Mackey (Marley if you can fathom it) and you've got some kind of 90s/00s indie gang bang wet dream. Fey indie orgies aside, 'Sucker' is a summer singalong indie anthem in the making and if anyone remembers Me Me Me then this is essentially the second coming of that particular messiah. Disco synths and hand claps are pushed along but some Dexy's acoustic and the spirit of swinging 60s London whilst a funky guitar and Bowie style backing vocals ties it all together. Essentially, this tune is everything that is great about English music all wrapped up in a three and a half minute parcel so you'd be a fool not to unwrap it.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/vangoffey/?fref=ts

Live Dates:

14th March - The Social, London

15th March - Wheatsheaves, Frome

BENEDICT BENJAMIN - SINGLE REVIEW

Benedict Benjamin - I Wish Your Lies Were Better (Sugarcoat Records) 
Benedict Benjamin - I Wish Your Lies Were Better

Release Date: Out Now

Finally. Finally, someone has produced a modern slow dance I can get on board with. London boy Benedict Benjamin has created, in 'I Wish Your Lies Were Better', a song that is borne from the likes of John Grant and the Treetop Flyers but has a Motown soul and all the flourish of a big time pop star. The arrangements are beautiful in their simplicity and Benjamin's voice is a master class in understated emotion that many would do well to take notes from. In fact, the only thing that makes this a bad choice for that end of disco smooch-fest is the heartbreaking lyrical content that would make this an impossible song to dance to with any kind of integrity. Then again, how often does integrity come in to your dance moves at the end of a night? Sumptuous stuff, I await the debut album with high anticipation.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/benedictbenjaminsongs

Live Dates:

30th March - Album Launch @ The Islington, London
9th April - Dim Swn Festival, Cardiff
12th April - The Forge, London w/The Magnetic North

23rd April - The Winemakers, London 

THOUGHTS - SINGLE REVIEW

Thoughts - Tuck 
Thoughts - Tusk

Release Date: Out Now

Brighton boys Thoughts have just released their debut single, 'Tuck', and it's worth spending three minutes and eleven seconds of your time giving it a listen. As introductions go, the Suede-esque guitars and throbbing bass line grab you by the balls and then the slinky, sleazy vocal performance eases in from stage left and we're up and running. This is a cracking little indie tune in the style of so many of my favourite bands from years gone by - Suede, Menswear, Livingstone are just some of the influences I can hear in there that make me smile from one indie ear to the other. What makes this stand out, however, is some excellent solo guitar work towards the end that gives this, weirdly, a slightly Santana vibe that just about works. Just about.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/thoughtsband

Live Dates:


14th March - Latest Music Bar, Brighton

BRYDE - SINGLE REVIEW

Bryde - Help Yourself 
Bryde - Help Yourself

Release Date: Out Now

Brixton needs a new hero to follow now that the pile of flowers in front of David Bowie's mural are starting to attract bugs and Bryde might just be that hero. Bryde's new single 'Help Yourself' has already been getting good responses around the scene so this may not be new to many but for those of you who haven't heard it yet, listen up. Bryde's softly sinister vocal style fits in the pigeon hole alongside Bat For Lashes and Laura Marling but there's a slickness, a confidence that is more aligned with the likes of Ladyhawke or Florence + The Machine. Now, if you put all that together with some thudding drums, warm guitars and some sweeping melodies what you've got is a real statement of intent that will leave the pretenders cold with fear. Bryde is the real deal, nuff said.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/brydeofficial/

Live Dates:

18th March - La Fleche d'Or, Paris
25th March - Parc Pantry, Newport
2nd April - St John's Church Hall, Woodbridge
5th April - Prince Albert, Stroud
9th April - Dim Swn Festival 2016, Cardiff
14th May - The Slaughtered Lamb, London

21st June - Rockwood Music Hall, New York

JAMES ATKIN - SINGLE REVIEW

James Atkin - Love Blind 
James Atkin - Love Blind

Release Date: Out Now

Being a member of 90s and 00s British music behemoths EMF and Bentley Rhythm Ace kinda gives you a bit of a free pass in my book but in the interests of science I thought I'd give James Atkin's new solo single a listen. 'Love Blind' has that 90s indie-dance vibe going on so it's not a massive stretch from EMF or James' poppier moments but there's also a little bit of Dubstar and St Etienne in there with the light and floaty melodies. A moody black and white video accompanies the song which is, lyrically at least, pretty bleak as Atkin turns his emotional blind eye to a failing relationship. It's not so much a return to form as it is a continuation of a prolific career of excellent song writing, teenagers of the 90s will enjoy this but that shouldn't stop anyone else loving it too.



Live Dates:

29th May - 100 Club, London w/Space

30th May - Darven Music Festival

Thursday, 10 March 2016

ALLA - SINGLE REVIEW

Alla - The Shining 
Alla - The Shining

Release Date: Out Now

A song by a classically trained Romanian singer-songwriter inspired by Stanley Kubrick's 'The Shining'? Oh hell yes. Alla is a quirky package and 'The Shining' delivers on that promise with a brooding acoustic line approaching from the horizon like an unstoppable grim reaper on a Harley channelling Jose Gonzalez. Following some distant, semi-religious chanting, a scuzzy guitar line kicks in and suddenly this tune takes on more purpose. Think PJ Harvey, a dirtier Ladyhawke, Portishead as performed by Primal Scream or Josh Homme's little sister and you're getting close to this tune but the rippling layers of melody scythed through by that buzz-saw guitar are a thing of forbidden beauty. Alla is a genuinely enthralling talent on the evidence of this track and the menace contained within the music is the perfect match for the title - if I find out she's got a twin sister, though, I'm going to put this review in the fridge.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/SoundOfAlla

HICKSGATE - SINGLE REVIEW

Hicksgate - Just Beginning ft. Swerv 
Hicksgate - Just Beginning ft. Swerv

Release Date: Out Now

Bristol artist Hicksgate has been doing what so few musicians bother doing these days - he's been honing his craft. For three years he's kept himself busy working in the background on his music, his art and the first fruit of this labour is this single, 'Just Beginning'. Kicking off with some sparkling melodies, some deep sounding strings soon join in before the rhymes kick in and suddenly this is a much bigger prospect than this writer expected it to be. This is a tune for the streets of New York or LA with big cars and bigger bling but with the aggression and intelligence that UK Hip-Hop all wrapped up in some slick, club friendly beats. Impressive stuff and hopefully there's more to come now that the creative juices have started flowing.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/HICKSGATE

Live Dates:


25th March - Lakota, Bristol

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

REYKJAVIK KIDS - SINGLE REVIEW

Reykjavik Kids - Moneymaker (Tigre Fair Records) 
Reykjavik Kids - Moneymaker

Release Date: 18th March 2016

Wonderfully named post-punk duo Reykjavik Kids are back with a new single and the intentions are writ large upon its sleeve. 'Moneymaker' is a frantic slice of agit-pop-punk with the energy of early Blur and the frantic frenetic nature of Hot Chip but with beefier guitars. There's something massively appealing about the fuzzed up, scuzzed down sounds and the melodies that find their way out like green shoots growing through piles of concrete rubble and twisted barbed wire. For two guys this pair make one hell of a racket and I would have thought that their live shows would be pretty impressive too. I'm sold, count me in.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/Reykjavikkids/?fref=ts

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bEra5t4zYZU

Live Dates:


26th March - The Lexington, London

ALISSIA - EP REVIEW

Alissia - Back To The Funkture 
Alissia - Back To The Funkture

Release Date: Out Now

I'm a simple man of simple pleasures but of those few pleasures a funky bass line and a beautiful woman are two of the best. Get those two right and I'm sold. Now, Alissia has both of these in bucket loads but what really, really got me interested was her list of influences; Prince, P-Funk Cameo, Bootsy, Laura Mvula, Stevie Wonder, Justin Timberlake. That's one hell of a party. So, this EP ('Back To The Funkture' - I also love wordplay) has set itself up to be my new favourite thing and I am begging it not to let me down. Kicking off with the title track, 'Back To The Funkture', and we're transported in to a time travelling tube train full to the brim with fat, chunky bass line, horns and the kind of arrangements that Nile Rodgers would shake his fine ass to. Immediately I'm in love with the punchy sound, sense of fun and oh-so-tight rhythms. 'On The Go' has an 80s vibe going - like the theme from a funked up version of Working Girl - but Alissia totally pulls it off with her smoothly soulful vocal delivery.

5 strings of funk
On 'Take Off' things take a very Prince shaped direction and that is a very, very good thing as that bass gets slapped more than a secretary's ass in the 1950s and the party vibe is fuelled by some lightning quick finger work on the synths. Oh my lord this EP is absolutely chocked full of fabulous funk musicianship and of that there is no doubt. 'Get Down' has some excellent horn work which is both light'n'funky and deep and soulful in equal measure which is an utterly blissful combination which should have whole rooms sweating from involuntary ass shakin' before this track reaches the bridge. What's that you say? Can Alissia get down and dirty? Why sure she can. 'Holdin' On' is a slower, smoother jam with a bass line that slides and slithers like a jet black panther easing through a funky jungle. The EP closes up with 'Let It Out' which has a very definite Stevie vibe about it as each instrument takes it's turn on centre stage and any lingering doubts (really?) are soon expelled - Alissia is the real deal. If this New York performer isn't huge by the end of 2016 then there's something very wrong with the world and you should all take a share in the responsibility for that if you don't get on the funk train and join in the party.


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

DEUX FURIEUSES - ALBUM TEASER TRACK

Deux Furieuses - Kill Us 
Deux Furieuses - Kill Us

Release Date: Out Now

Now here are a pair you don't want to mess with. Not just because this taster for their forthcoming debut album is an absolute beast but because, well, I've met them and trust me you don't want to cross them. Ros and Vas, for they are Deux Furieuses , are teasing the darkest of your taste buds with 'Kill Us' so I would really only pop this one in your mouth if you're ready for a dark, bitter taste that you might find hard to swallow. Chiming, 'Pure Morning' era Placebo-esque guitars are pummelled in to shape by the forge-heavy drums before being soothed by the most terrifying siren song you're ever likely to hear. Menace seeps from every pore like those dreams where you can see someone sitting in the corner of your bedroom but you can't quite see their face in the half-light. Deux Furieuses have always been impressively heavy and hard hitting but this new darkness and atmosphere is delightfully enticing and 'Kill Us' couldn't be a more enticing flavour of the now hotly anticipated (by me, at least) debut album.


Listen Here: https://soundcloud.com/deuxfurieuses/06-kill-us/s-MSsSa

Live Dates:

24th March - The Windmill, London w/Little Death Machine + Black Moon 1348

3rd April - Art Beat Weekend, London 

HALEY RYAN - SINGLE REVIEW

Haley Ryan - Find A Way 
Haley Ryan - Find A Way

Release Date: Out Now

Newcastle-under-Lyme singer-songwriter Haley Ryan's new single, 'Find A Way', is fairly inoffensive in its acoustic strum and vocals that beg to be sung with a concerned frown and hands grasping at thin air. Ryan's voice is somewhere between pop and indie-rock but there's not enough depth and soul to make this fully satisfying. I'd expect that there's more to come from Ryan but the songwriting is still a little stuck in the 90s and I would implore her to really open up and let those pipes sing, I think she might just have it in her. For now, though, this tune is destined to be played over the montage of a weeping also-ran on the X-Factor. Close but no cigar....yet.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/haleyryanmusic

Live Dates:

25th March - A Tribute To Lemmy Charity Event, Burslem

28th March - Samantha Lloyd EP Launch, Stoke On Trent w/Samantha Lloyd 

Sunday, 6 March 2016

RYN – EP REVIEW

Ryn – Coincide EP(Bright Redistribution Records Ltd) 
Ryn - Coincide EP

Release Date: Out Now

As a follow up to her previous ‘Confide EP’, Exeter singer-songwriter Ryn has brought out another five track collection of songs under the title the ‘Coincide EP’ which makes me think the next release will be the ‘Collide EP’ if you’re following a pattern. Opening with ‘In Woods’ you are immediately transported to a cosy space warmed by burning logs while frost crystallises on every surface outside. The warm rolling guitar notes and sprinkled piano notes are pure bliss and Ryn’s voice wafts throughout the song like the delicate scent of a recently lit candle. ‘Sure’ is a more subtle affair with brooding guitar notes nudging the song along, only to be sliced by the occasional swoosh of bow on string and the gorgeous lines of lyrics like “pocketing pebbles like good intentions”. Ryn is pitched somewhere between Laura Marling and Zoe Johnston but with the spirit of the Indigo Girls at their most tender and provocative behind the lyrics.

On ‘Human Animal’ things take a turn towards the more subdued side of things but if you’ve got a penchant for the introspective and gentle side of music then this will be like a flame to your aural moth. The gentle theme continues on ‘Water Bird’ as does the autumnal vibe and the excellent vocal performance and delicate guitar notes. By the time ‘How This Seems’ closes this EP with its Parisian vibe and breathy vocals, you are left under no illusion that Ryn’s aim on this collection is to soothe, provoke thought and lose you in a world of the introspective minutiae of this world. And that’s all good but if I had one request for the next EP it would be to let loose on those vocal chords and give us a couple of numbers that we can really sing along to in the car.


More information: www.facebook.com/rynacoustic

Thursday, 3 March 2016

THE SHERLOCKS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Sherlocks - Last Night 
The Sherlocks - Last Night

Release Date: 4th March 2016

The dual sibling attack of Sheffield quartet The Sherlocks is back with a new single and the hype just continues to grow around these guys - and not without good reason, they work bloody hard gigging all over the country. New single 'Last Night' is not a cover of the Strokes classic but rather a British indie stomper in a long line of the tradition. Elements of Arctic Monkeys are there as you might expect but also a more meaty, beefy sound with a rumbling bass carrying the tune and allowing the Killers-esque melodies to swoop and soar to their hearts content. This has got big summer festival stomper written all over it and the chances are these lads will be at every festival going to you might as well start learning the lyrics now.



Live Dates:

9th April - City Centre, Derby
27th May - Cathedral, Manchester
28th May - Various, Bristol
29th May - Various, Nottingham
3rd June - Leadmill, Sheffield

29 July - Mouldridge Lanes, Pikehall

THE SHAKERS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Shakers - Kiss Tracks (Infinity Records) 
The Shakers - Kiss Tracks

Release Date: Out Now

South-West London kids The Shakers have built themselves a nice little cottage industry with a record label of their own, a stylish recording space and a debut single as a product of the two. 'Kiss Tracks' starts with a strained but slinky guitar line before settling in to a jerky, quirky pattern full of indie-pop swagger. There are elements of Mystery Jets, Bombay Bicycle Club. Jamie T and Vampire Weekend but also a real sense of originality and experimentation that can only come from a group of old mates handing around and messing about with their instruments (oo-er missus) to see what they can come up with. Definitely, 'ones to watch' as they say.


More information: https://www.facebook.com/theshakersss

Wednesday, 2 March 2016

THE FRANKLYS - SINGLE REVIEW

The Franklys - Comedown 
The Franklys - Comedown 

Release Date:  25th March 2016

Those globe straddling multi linguists The Franklys are back with a new single and yet another hard working tour of the UK's gallows bothering venues. 'Comedown' drops at the end of March and it's got a lovely little video alongside it that was filmed on many of the same locations as the classic 'Shaun Of The Dead'. The track itself is an absolute belter with a snarling, lip curling riff and machine punching drums providing the backdrop for some menacingly deadpan vocals. Elements of the Long Blondes and the Stooges are in equal evidence but there is a very definite sound to this band that is as enticing as it is disturbing. Go get messed up with these ladies in a town near you this spring, you will regret it but it's always the things that feel the best at the time that you regret later, right? Right, and the Franklys are definitely a band for 'the moment'.

More information: https://www.facebook.com/thefranklys/

Watch The Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BFKog5tmvmg

Live Dates:

3rd March - Anglia Ruskin, Cambridge
4th March - Cult Cafe, Ipswich
5th March - The Asylum, Chelmsford
9th March - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
10th March - Nice'n'Sleazy, Glasgow
11th March - The Top House, Stanley
12th March - The Fleece, Northallerton
17th March - The Finsbury, London
18th March - Bumper, Liverpool
19th March - Bad Apple, Leeds
20th March - The Castle Hotel, Manchester
24th March - Green Door Store, Brighton
25th March - Railway, Winchester
26th March - Esquires, Bedford
1st April - Clwb Ifor Back, Cardiff
2nd April - Threshold Festival, Liverpool

3rd April - The Firebug, Leicester

WHY WE LOVE - SINGLE REVIEW

Why We Love - Staying Awake (My Little Empire Records) 
Why We Love - Staying Awake

Release Date: Out Now

I'll admit to being entirely uninspired by the first 26 seconds of the latest single from Bristol twee-poppers Why We Love. However, 'Staying Awake' redeems itself wonderfully in two key ways. Firstly, there are some excellent Vampire Weekend guitars which make your hips shake and your shoulders jerk. Secondly, this whole tune has a very Teenage Fanclub and Belle & Sebastian vibe about it which is always OK in my book. Oh, and the fact that the whole tune comes in at just over three minutes means that they can do away with that first 26 seconds and it will only improve the tune. Bonus!


Live Dates:


26th March - EP Release Party - Cube Microplex, Bristol

HAPPY HOLLOWS - SINGLE REVIEW

Happy Hollows - Way Home 
Happy Hollows - Way Home

Release Date: Out Now

Well, it's been a while but Listen With Monger is back what better way than to herald the return to your eyes and ears than with the uplifting alt-pop of LA troupe Happy Hollows. Latest single 'Way Home' is a sunrise of a tune, cycling through city streets in the warmest morning glow after the clubbers have returned to their caves but before the joggers have fully limbered up. Bits of Above & Beyond, Blondie, Belly and Bombay Bicycle Club with a frantically clicking beat, bouncing guitars and, oh, those vocals!?! Sarah Negahdari has one of those voices that is soaring, sweet, fun and piercing all at the same time - it's the kind of voice you could take out dancing but then introduce to your mother then next morning over pancakes and not one beat would be missed. Wonderfully wondrous music and the perfect (re) start to the year.