Friday, 27 May 2011

New Video Alert! The Joe Public - Towers

This is amazing! You have to see this; the very first video from The Joe Public to promote their latest single Towers which you can buy from iTunes here from the 20th June. The song is amazing; it showcases real Incubus flavours with subtle hints of all of the guys' influences, ranging from the grit and feel of Queens of the Stone Age to the song-writing ability and commerciality of Kings of Leon. Their latest offering is, in my humble opinion, the best song they've written to date and if it's a sign of things to come then these boys are on the brink of something huge. Enjoy.

For more on The Joe Public, check out their Facebook Page.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

New Artist Alert: League

Inspired by their story of 'two students having dropped out of college to live in a tent on the beach', I was most definitely intrigued by League and interested to hear what such an experience might do to affect the music one produces. League claim that their music was inspired by their move, calling it "a primal experience that was a huge influence, that we managed to mix with a modern/urban sonority, to make a connection between two distinct worlds" and the very obvious originality in their music is testament to their lifestyle change. 'Golden Maps' relies heavily on the fusion of two worlds and, more importantly, two quite differing styles of new wave-dance which features, in my opinion, heavy influences from indie in the synth melodies, drum sounds and vocal styles. It sounds like a synthed-up indie track, but equally a rocked-up dance track so I'm unsure which pigeon hole to place it in...either way it's got a great sound that takes on an almost tribal and psychadelic route at times.

'Take My Hand' starts with an interesting synth riff that could either settle into a slow, reggae-feel, Manu Chao groove or, equally as comfortably, break into a faster-paced rock beat. The latter has been chosen upon and works well, again with the indie-rock drum sounds prominent and sounding great against the dancy-backdrop of synth and bass-sounds. The track breaks into synth-led sections, staying true to the duo's dance-roots whilst always maintaing that rock under-current, once again with the tribal influences in the chorus.

League are definitely onto something here; a really great marriage of styles brought together by a dramatic personal lifestyle-change; the next step is to hear them pull it off live. And yes, the pair are based in London and gigging. If you want to hear for yourself the psychadelic sounds featured, make sure you check out their Myspace page for music, photos and to keep up to date. Enjoy :)

Monday, 23 May 2011

New Artist Alert: 4 Weeks Inbetween

4 Weeks Inbetween are a female-fronted upbeat pop punk quintet from Southampton but, be warned, do not be deceived by their tender years...these guys rock! With their debut EP 'Tearing At The Seams' available on iTunes, the band are really making a name for themselves on the Southern UK music scene and you can catch them live at The Croft in Bristol on 23rd June.

'Scream, Live, Lie' showcases great guitar work and a really tight rhythm section; I've listened to a load of bands a lot older than these guys who definitely aren't as together as this band are which is great to hear considering that things can only get better. The track is energetic and typically pop-punk but written well; the vocals suit the style of the music and carry the track well.

'These Rumours' is a down-n-dirty punk song, full of frantic guitar, thrashing drums and strong vocals. The drums really drive this track along and I love the high-guitar riff in the chorus. The vocals are definitely the crowing moment of the track though; they carry long, drawn-out notes confidentally and sound wicked in the bridge section. This is a great break-down with chugging bass that builds as the vocals intensify; the rest of the band slowly ease their way back into the fray before a climatic pause is reached followed by an explosive guitar-led break before the last choruses. This is just a great track!

Without You is a lot calmer which is a great move, I definitely need a sit-down after the previous tracks but it still manages to maintain the bands rockier sound in the choruses. The guitar work is inventive whilst the rhythm section hold down the groove well. The vocals are allowed a lot of space in the verses and they sound great, really showcasing lead-singer Luu McGonagle's talent. The track is well-written and the pace change was definitely what was needed.

4 Weeks Inbetween have got a lot going for them and, as they grow as individuals and musicians, can only hope to get tighter and write even better songs. I definitely urge you to check the guys out on their Facebook page to keep up to date and have a listen to their songs for yourselves. Enjoy!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

New Artist Alert: Ellie Walker

Photo by Paul Capewell

Does the name sound familiar? Well it should do, just last month Ellie Walker cropped up in my review for Saturday Night Gym Club after her track 'I Know' was remixed by the band. But today is all about her, and where better to start than with the original version of the song. Ellie's sound fuses folk and acoustic styles with a pop-edge that is clearly evident in 'I Know' with its simple arrangement and structure. The vocals are easy and soothing with a whole load of space, the piano ostinato is always at the foreground of the track whilst the drums are totally minimal but with great lifting-snare fills every so often. There's a real treat towards the end of the track where the vocals harmonise wonderfully; just so you know that I still need you around; the gradual crescendo as the rest of the instruments slip away unnoticed is a fantastic end to a brilliantly simple song.

'Tonight' features a catchy, picky acoustic guitar part that compliments Ellie's dreamy voice which is really exposed here but stands its ground well. The track is really nice but could maybe do with another dimension, perhaps a simple cello part just to maintain the listener's interest and help progress the song. I really enjoyed the cover of 'Call The Shots', adding a slightly sinister and retrospective downbeat feel in great contrast to the Girls Aloud original. Definitely an interesting choice of cover and arrangement.

You can listen to all of Ellie's music on her Myspace page so be sure to keep up to date with her!

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Gemma Mewse - First glimpse of 'Neverland'

Check out this first glimpse of 'Neverland', the title track taken from the fabulous Gemma Mewse's album due out July 2011!

Be sure to check Gemma out on her Facebook page or follow her on Twitter!

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Amy Heffernan - Friggin Little Know It All

Remember my introduction to the fab Amy Heffernan back in September 2010? Well she's back with a less self-indulgent yet rather more angry-sounding album entitled 'Friggin Little Know It All'. Track names such as the title track of the album, 'Ignorant Pig' and 'Crap' hint that Amy might have been bottling up some rage since we last heard from her yet her likeable teenage punk-rock image remains the same and I'm confident her latest offering will be as energetic as her last.

'Ignorant Pig' hints at an angsty-rock number with the chugging palm-muted guitar in the intro until the waves of synth throw us off the scent until the chorus. Heffernan's voice is strong and the chorus is definitely what I expected for all the right reasons; rocky, poppy, energetic and the overall sound of the track leans back to the Pink and Avril Lavigne sounds of yesteryear but with a fresh, electro take which is great and equally important. In an industry so reliant on originality, it seems like Heffernan is definitely moving in the right direction.

'Perfect' follows suit as does title track 'Friggin Little Know It All' with its slightly obscure vocal style that might not be to everyone's tastes. 'Dance Ourselves Sober' stood out to be as a track that might afford a drop in tempo for the listener; although the key and overall feel of the song is slightly more minor, I would have liked to have heard something a little slower, gentler, perhaps just a simple acoustic guitar or piano-led ballad for the sake of the dynamics of the album overall. Heffernan's definitely got herself a signature sound in the making here but not everybody wants to dance all night, sometimes we need a slow one to pick us up and recharge for the rest of the album.

It is though, overall, an uplifting, in your face, runaway-train kind of record that I'm sure people will enjoy hearing. For an exclusive listen to 'Ignorant Pig' and 'Perfect' plus teasers of the rest of the album, check out her LaFamos Digital Press Kit because this girl isn't going to come quietly!

Monday, 16 May 2011

New Artist Alert: Dom Liberati

"Liberati’s sound pays homage to his influences, blending The Police with Jimmy Eat World and Kings of Leon". Quite the interesting tag line, and one I think you'll agree left me wanting to hear what this sexless male-marriage of music might sound like combined with Dom Liberati's own personal touch. I had a listen to 'We Own The Night' taken from Liberati's forthcoming album 'The Good Hurt' and I wonder if he might be thinking of adding Bon Jovi to his list of influences anytime soon. It's a long shot, but the track title appealed to me as I thought back to Bon Jovi's 'We Rule The Night' and it also showcases the lyric 'You can't stop what you can't see' reminding me also of Bon Jovi's 'You can't cage what you can't tame' from the similar-sounding acoustic guitar-driven 'The Fire Inside'. But maybe that's just the hardcore fan inside me with my Bon Jovi blinkers on and really it's just a massive coincidence; these are both quite rare tracks... Back to Liberati as an artist in his own right; I love the energy afforded in quite a minor-sounding track thanks to the melodic synth and poppy, hard-hitting drums. His vocals have a great sound to them; a soulful radio-friendly tone with a grittier rock-edge demonstrated in the chorus which lyrically is simple yet effective, perfect for live sing-a-longs. If one track sums up Liberati's three listed influences it's this one without a doubt, the Kings of Leon, The Police and Jimmy Eat World are all definitely in there, showcasing an original and very clever amalgamation of the differing sounds of the bands. The track itself is great, leading the album well and really setting the bench-mark high.

If you're a fan of any of the artists mentioned or like the sound of Dom Liberati, make sure you check him out on his Facebook page. The Good Hurt is out on the 21st June, so be sure to pick up a copy from iTunes.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

I Need Your Help!

Hi all, a rather self-indulgent post but I really need your help. As you may have read, my band Birds In Flight are making inroads in UK Battle of the Bands competition Live and Unsigned. I need two seconds of your time...if you are on Facebook, please click here and 'LIKE' the post on their wall titled 'Hampshire Live Music - blogged by Birds In Flight'. If we have gained the most 'likes' by this time next week, we'll win £500 towards recording time which is huge for us!

Thanks so much in advance, I really appreciate your support.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The City Calls - New EP Video Update

Last month, The City Calls spent a week at the Ranch Production House working on their as yet untitled new EP. The guys documented their time in the studio to give fans a taster of the CD, due out in the Summer on I Am Mighty Records, so check it out below!

Keep up to date with The City Calls on Facebook!