Mad Crush “Northern Lights” – Track Premiere

Northern Lights‘ is the debut single from Mad Crush’s new album of the same name which is out on  November 16th.  It’s a dreamy folk ballad about loneliness and loss, and is songwriter John Elderkin’s attempt to capture the essence of loneliness, and draws inspiration from every story of disappointment that he could recall.  As he says “some friends of mine had a lively conversation about times when they’d been let down, and all kinds of funny examples came up, like ordering x-ray glasses as a kid only to find that they didn’t actually let you see through people’s clothing. Continue reading “Mad Crush “Northern Lights” – Track Premiere”

Anna Tivel announces new album

Photo Credit Matt Dayak

Anna Tivel is quite simply one of the finest singer-songwriters currently active on the Americana scene, or the folk scene, or any other god damn scene you might like to mention.  Anna Tivel is it – great songs, great voice , great arrangements and, perhaps most importantly, great songs.  Really, really great songs.  Those who were lucky enough to have seen Anna Tivel on tour in the UK this year will have heard her singing some of her new songs, that she confirmed would be on her new album.  Well, the new album is coming soon and it’s called ‘The Question‘.  And there’s a teaser track as well – a new song called ‘Fenceline‘ which is, typically, a complex song looking at a barrier from different perspectives.    Continue reading “Anna Tivel announces new album”

Jason Isbell’s Ryman residency wins RS plaudits

Jason Isbell has begun six nights of performances in Nashville this week for this year’s residency (which have been happening since 2014) and RS Country has been writing about them in glowing terms. They wrote of the first night: “On Monday, Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit performed like a renewed band, kicking off this year’s six-show Ryman takeover with a set that sounded studied, but no less soulful. The group’s arrangements have become more deliberate, with each dynamic shift emphasized by a light show that doubled down on the music’s unique punch. Continue reading “Jason Isbell’s Ryman residency wins RS plaudits”

Nikkie McLeod “Quarrel” – Listen

We’re always looking to bring you something new and different – Nikkie McLeod’s ‘Quarrel‘ ticks both boxes.  The combination of McLeod’s vocal with the scratchy strings, guitar and piano on ‘Quarrel‘  adds an eerie overtone to this study of “these painful days“.   To say that ‘Quarrel‘ is multilayered is something of an understatement as tempos change, and an eerie folk song turns into a full blown orchestral feel.  Trinidad & Tobago born McLeod now lives in Brooklyn, and ‘Quarrel‘ is the title track of her upcoming EP release, out on October 30th.

Young Waters “Young Waters” (MonoKrome Music, 2018)

Young Waters are a five-piece folk band from Bristol led by Theo Passingham (vocals and guitar) with Kerry Ann Jangle (vocals and percussion), Liam O’Connell (double bass and vocals), Calum Smith (violin) and Rowen Elliot (viola). The preponderance of strings in the band help to create complex and emotional arrangements, over which Theo and Kerry sing in suddenly rushing and clipped duetting vocals. The songs, written by Theo Passingham, dwell on dark themes of disconnection and the bleaker side of the human condition. ‘Dust‘ treads the path from birth to death with full realisation of the inevitable, and as the strings soar, there’s a simple acknowledgement of decay being the natural order of things: “we begin to rust / return to dust“. Continue reading “Young Waters “Young Waters” (MonoKrome Music, 2018)”

The Deep Hollow “Weary Traveller” (Independent, 2018)

Weary Traveller‘ is the second album from Americana-Folk trio The Deep  Hollow. Coming out of Springfield Illinois (not that Springfield), the three band members have honed their craft in a variety of projects. Singer/guitarist Dave Littrell fronts a progressive rock band (The Station), singer Liz Eckert has a community theatre background while Micha Walk trades alt-rock in his own Micah Walk Band.  Continue reading “The Deep Hollow “Weary Traveller” (Independent, 2018)”

GospelbeacH announce new album “Another Winter Alive” – Listen

The lovely, lovely GospelbeacH have announced their new album, seasonly titled ‘Another Winter Alive’ (which is how life feels on earth at the moment) which comes out on November 30th via Alive Naturalsound Records. The album features five previously unreleased studio tracks recorded during the band’s sessions for last years’ ‘Another Summer Of Love’ plus five live songs recorded in London during their California Fantasy tour, revisiting stripped-down live versions of songs from their debut album ‘Pacific Surf Line’. Continue reading “GospelbeacH announce new album “Another Winter Alive” – Listen”

Mackenzie Shivers “Believe” – Listen

Sung from the piano, ‘Believe‘ is a stark and yet ultimately hopeful song as Mackenzie Shivers unravels a skein of disbelief in magical agencies and world bestriding heroes who will come and solve all our problems.  Rather she believes in the individual’s ability to change events, to be the only agents of change that can achieve anything.  Taken from her album ‘The Unkindness‘ it’s Mackenzie Shivers’ softly spoken response to a divided political scenery in the USA.  It certainly seems a ferment of chaos over there, but hey – change could be a-coming.