Hollow Hand “Milestone” – Listen

Hollow Hand is a band spearheaded by Brighton resident Max Kinghorn-Mills and ‘Milestone‘ is the lead single from the Hollow Hand’s debut album ‘Star Chamber‘ which was released on October 19th 2018, via Talkshow Records.  Kinghorn Mills finds 2018 a scary place, but acknowledges that there’s salvation in art “I’m probably trying to divert my mind from the negative impacts of modernity. Maybe because I just can’t really handle it” he explains.  Taking Syd Barrett and The Grateful Dead as influences, Hollow Hand make a lively multi-layered music that is uplifting as a thousand Helium balloons.

Ramona Rose “High Water” – Listen

Manchester based Ramona Rose recently took the decision to leave her folk-rock band and hit the road as a solo artist, with just a guitar and a stomp-box loop pedal.  Having just completed an eight city tour she sees this new direction as a good decision, saying of the route to her new single “I’ve been playing acoustic shows for over a year now, learning more about myself along the way, and in the end this record became the most honest I’ve ever made“.   It’s a high energy folk-rock anthem, which brings to mind KT Tunstall’s early break out singles.

Steve Gunn “New Moon” – Listen

Photo Credit : Clay Benskin

Sometimes good things come out of bad situations, Steve Gunn had taken a pretty big blow after the release of his last album ‘Eyes On The Lines‘, when his father died from cancer.  Steve and his father had got very close during the treatment, talking openly and deeply in a way that maybe they hadn’t before,  so this was a heavy knock that took some getting over.  Two years later and there’s a new album ;The Unseen In Between, to be released on January 18th which draws on some of these emotions, and which Steve was helped in putting together by Tony Garnier, Bob Dylan’s musical director and longest standing bandmate. Continue reading “Steve Gunn “New Moon” – Listen”

LeBarons “Long Highway” – Listen

Few people are better positioned to write about long highways than a Canadian band, such as LeBarons. ‘Long Highways’ is the lead single from their upcoming album ‘Summer of Death‘ (due 2nd November), and if that title  conjours up images of Hard Metal, then worry not.  The LeBarons are a band making pure Americana, as this track which paints pictures of escape along the road heading that’s away from the problems rapidly disappearing in the rear-view mirror.  But escape to what ?

Chicago “In Terms of Two” – Listen

Peter Cetera is performing live tonight at the Barbican, his first UK show in over three decades. Woefully under-rated as both a songwriter and a vocalist (his voice still being one of the most distinctive of his time), he’s still filed under “guilty pleasure” but always had an ear for a melody. And that includes this song which he wrote for the Chicago VI album from 1973 which spent five weeks at number one in the US that year. It’s the most country-leaning track on the album, featuring as it does Gerry Rafferty on pedal steel, but you could honestly pick out any of the 10 tracks on the record as evidence of what the band collectively represented at a key point in US history. Chances are Cetera won’t be playing it tonight, but he should.

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”

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.

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.

John Oates “Arkansas” – Listen

Arkansas‘ is the title of the new album from John Oates, and to say it’s something of a change of direction from what one might expect from this artist is a reasonable statement of fact.  This is not blue-eyed soul.  There are no eighties synths.  John Oates is a big fan of Mississippi John Hurt,  and this album was conceived originally as a way of honouring that admiration.  And it evolved some as Oates expanded what was originally going to be the perhaps expected vocal and guitar sound to encompass a fuller band approach.  Asked about the album’s style and the sound of Arkansas, John Oates has said:  “It’s like Dixieland, dipped in bluegrass, and salted with Delta blues.”

Ferris & Sylvester “Burning River” – Listen

London duo Ferris & Sylvester have released their new single, ‘Burning River‘, which represents their first new music since their well received ‘Made in Streatham EP‘ from earlier this year. ‘Burning River‘ is the first  fruit of their brand new project which has been inspired by writing trips to Iceland and draws on the experience of the vast breath-taking landscapes and mesmeric weather patterns.  ‘Burning River’ pulls together Icelandic chants, captivating percussion, blues guitars and the pair’s unmistakable harmonies. The result finds Ferris & Sylvester expanding their sound into something of a new direction for them.