Gian Luca & the Oak “The Flowers Never Grown” (Independent 2017)

Gianluca Gentile is an Italian-born, London-based singer-songwriter who self released his debut EP ‘The Flowers Never Grown’ earlier this year and is backed up on the record by his talented band, The Oak. The record kicks off with an upbeat folk number Let You Be that sits somewhere between Old Crow Medicine Show and Mumford & Sons in terms of its energy and the utilising of the talents of his backing group and the variety of instruments on offer, particularly the drummer Emanuela Monni who puts in a great performance and Gianluca himself who plays a plethora of instruments on the recording. Continue reading “Gian Luca & the Oak “The Flowers Never Grown” (Independent 2017)”

Avant Gardner “Interloper” (It’s Black Music, 2017)

‘Interloper’ is the newest release from Avant Gardner, a multi-instrumentalist from Liverpool who has clearly been around for a while as this is his tenth release and the press release states that he is currently gathering material for an eleventh which is really quite something from a relatively unknown artist. The record itself was written, performed and produced by Avant Gardner himself bar a few lead guitar parts from musicians, Stevil and Phil Dyer and what is immediately striking about the record is the quality of the playing on the record. Continue reading “Avant Gardner “Interloper” (It’s Black Music, 2017)”

Stu Larsen “Resolute” (Nettwerk Music Group, 2017)

Australian native and notorious traveller Stu Larsen returns with his second full-length album ‘Resolute’ following his 2014 release ‘Vagabond’ which saw his brand of folk-pop gather praise for it’s simplicity and it’s lyrical honesty and he continues down the same path on his newest release. The most notable thing about Stu Larsen’s music is the seemingly quintessential British accent evident throughout which is unexpected from an Australian, and being a friend and touring partner of Brighton’s Passenger, the comparisons between the two are too easy however, Larsen brings a certain innocence and relatability to the table which sets him apart from the majority of the singer-songwriter genre. Continue reading “Stu Larsen “Resolute” (Nettwerk Music Group, 2017)”

Roselit Bone “Blister Steel” (Friendship Fever, 2017)

Roselit Bone have been around since 2013, formed by frontman Joshua McCaslin and drummer Ben Dahmes and growing into a nine piece band, the group have had a fair amount of time to hone their sound and that time, was time well spent. It’s a rarity to find a group that are able to take a tried and tested sound and somehow flip it on its head to turn it into something so exciting, refreshing and original which is exactly what Roselit Bone do on ‘Blister Steel’. Continue reading “Roselit Bone “Blister Steel” (Friendship Fever, 2017)”

Flotation Toy Warning “The Machine That Made Us” (Talitres, 2017)

Flotation Toy Warning have returned after a 13 year break with their second full-length album ‘The Machine That Made Us’ and pick up exactly where they left off. Formed in a warehouse in London way back in 2001 and taking their name from words they found on rubber rings and beach balls, Flotation Toy Warning borrow as much from the Americana genre as they do from modern pop or electronic records and throw them into a melting pot to produce an original and interesting sound with little comparison due to their experimental nature. Their musical styling is often compared to artists such as Grandaddy or Mercury Rev and vocalist Paul Carter could be likened to The National’s Matt Berninger at times, however, this is no indication of the band’s sound and their true originality. Continue reading “Flotation Toy Warning “The Machine That Made Us” (Talitres, 2017)”

Dougmore “Outerboros” (Independent, 2017)

‘Outerboros’ is the debut full-length from New York native, Douglas Jay Goldstein. He is a lifelong banjo virtuoso who started to study the instrument at the tender age of 9, and whose talent has led to him playing on many sessions. Adopting the moniker of Dougmore, he is venturing out of his safe zone on his first studio release, recorded in New York’s legendary Magic Shop Studios (used by Lou Reed, The Ramones and other legendary artists), and shows clearly that his talent stretches beyond his banjo expertise. Continue reading “Dougmore “Outerboros” (Independent, 2017)”

Malcolm Holcombe “Pretty Little Troubles” (Gypsy Eyes Music, 2017)

For those not familiar with Malcolm Holcombe, he is somewhat of an institution. There aren’t many artists that can say they’ve had a career quite like him and after 20 years and 15 studio recordings, he’s still going as strong as ever and continuing to expand on the vast body of work he has built. The production on the record is crisp and clean and allows room for the impressive guitar skills of Holcombe to shine through along with some subtle and perfectly placed harmonica to compliment the gravelly, whiskey-drenched and rough-around-the-edges vocals we’ve come to expect from him. Continue reading “Malcolm Holcombe “Pretty Little Troubles” (Gypsy Eyes Music, 2017)”