Monday, 8 July 2013

New Artist Alert: Lewis Mckale - The Bigger Picture

Introducing Lewis Mckale, an acoustic singer-songwriter from Brighton UK who fell into music as a 'second hobby' behind his first love, acting. Spurred on by a little personal advice from Frank Turner, Mckale's second EP, The Bigger Picture, has recently been released and I've had the chance to take a listen.

The title track of the EP kicks things off, setting the scene with easy-listening acoustic guitar and a Bowie-esque quality to Mckale's vocal. The arrangement is simple but effective; as with the strength of the vocals it's not ground-breaking but it doesn't need to be with this genre. Pleasant and plausible is perfectly acceptable, as Mckale adds a little rhythmic flair before the second chorus to maintain the listener's interest leading into the second half of the track whilst the instrumental section indulges in a little chordal-work on the xylophone/vibraphone-sounding instrument atop the interesting chord progression before introducing a high ostinato on the piano over the final section.

Next up is Those Were The Days which adds a lot more flair and intensity, crucial to holding interest on such an EP, with its 6/8 time signature and the welcome addition of a harmonica. The verses are held down simply with vocals and acoustic guitar whilst we're drip-fed just enough of the harmonica throughout, adding a nice texture to the piece. Track three, Prove You Wrong, picks up the pace a little further whilst returning to the tried-and-tested simplicity of vocals and acoustic guitar. The vocals sound a little strained at times with a few slight-tuning issues but nothing a little auto-tune can't fix (everybody's doing it) and it all adds to the human element of the EP.

Closing the show is (Don't) Forget Who You Are which adds a little more texture with the introduction of a cajon and a some more backing from the piano. The track has a nice driving feel to it, though I do feel Mckale could perhaps try running through a couple of the tracks trying out a capo on a few different frets to find a key he is completely comfortable singing in. There's no doubt the song-writing ability is there, and I feel that with a little tweaking these tracks are going to sound great live.

The Bigger Picture is available now for a free download from Mckale's Bandcamp page, and you can keep up to date with him via his own blog page. Enjoy :)

Monday, 1 July 2013

Alexander Video Release - Say Hello

Back in April, I was excited to bring you news of Alexander's new album release 'Say Hello'. Well now I'm even more excited to bring you the official video for the album's title track, which you can view below. The track is a real anthemic rocker, whilst the video seems quite simple on the surface but is really effective and looks great.

Of the video, the band have this to say:

"The song is about getting away from something that is really dragging you down, finding something fresh and just feeling great, even if it's just for a week. The video is about being open and just smiling at people saying hello, it's a message for people to just let everything go and be happy and open. The star signs which are featured on the bottom of each sign are a symbol of who we are and it's metaphor to show we are opening up to people" 

So there you have it; smile. It's infectious :)

The single is available via iTunes, along with a B-side available. Be sure to keep up to date with the guys on Facebook.

In other I Am Mighty records news, Lower Lands have released their new EP 'Canvas' which is available as a free download from the I Am Mighty Records website, whilst Maycomb are set to film their debut music video in the upcoming weeks - I anticipate there'll be more on that soon.