Stunning new single ‘Much Better’ from Stephanie Sounds, album coming soon

Accompanied by a suitably hypnotic lyric video, ‘Much Better’ is the new single from promising London artist Stephanie Sounds. Taking a quick your through her YouTube channel, it’s clear to see that this is an artist with genuine talent. And with any luck, this latest offering will see her gain followers with the right people in the music industry.

The single, released on September 15th, is something of a slow burner. Opening with simple acoustic lines, it soon builds to a huge, layered chorus which is easy to get stuck in your head. It’s all  helped by the natural, smooth vocal of the talented songwriter.

The good news is, if this floats your boat, there’s plenty more on the way. The ‘Much Better’ album  follows on the 6th October.

New single from Jonathan Cavier, ‘Comes a Moment’, out now

A singer-songwriter from the US, Jonathan Cavier is a veteran musician with many years of experience in the music business. This may explain why his new single, ‘Comes a Moment’, is a mature piece of acoustic pop songwriting with top class production value.

Clean, crisp and catchy, the track is on iTunes now, and can also be found as part of Cavier’s excellent album ‘Premier’. For fans of well exectuted, thoughtful pop, this single and album should represent the discovery of a new favourite.

‘Clocks’ EP and single out now from Ellie Jane

Out now on iTunes, ‘Clocks’ is the brand new EP from a very promising new artist in the shape of songwriter Ellie Jane. Released on October 21st, the EP comprises six tracks of really good acoustic pop, fronted by a voice that is delicate but simultaneously powerful.

The intelligence of Jane’s lyricism shines through from beginning to end, and can be sampled in the title track above. And, having already turned heads at Radio 1, there will be plenty more new music on the way. To get on board the hype train, head over to her website.

Elliot Porter releases new video and EP ‘Keep Going’ – Nov 23rd

When a songwriter is backed not only by an independent label (Matchbox Recordings) but by the distributing power of a major player (Universal), that’s usually a good sign in terms of quality. Based in Cambridge, song writer Elliot Porter is definitely a talent, and deserves all the backing he is getting.

A subtle writer in the vein of Damien Rice or Glen Hansard, his sound is primarily acoustic, spinning his lyrics around the tried and true combination of light percussion, acoustic guitar and piano. His vocal also bears up to the Damien Rice comparison – harsh edged and melodic, it is captured with little vocal effect in the production, giving it a real raw quality.

That raw quality is exactly what makes this a release worth recommending. If you enjoy the track above, the EP is available here from November 23rd.

Single ‘Brooklyn Bridge’ is out now from The Humble Grapes

With a big show at Bitter End (NYC) coming later this month, New York dwelling due The Humble Grapes have unveiled a new single titled ‘Brooklyn Bridge’. Very easy on the ear thanks to its piano/vocal combination, the song is written by David Kaufman and Brie Capone, with the backing of their regular band.

This combination has worked hard to gain some traction on the New York musical landscape, while remaining independent and carving their own path for the last two years.

Kaufman’s contribution is to take simple(ish) chord patterns and spin them into lovely piano parts with nice subtle notes and details. Capone meanwhile is the vocalist, and has a very nice, deep timbre to her voice which sets it apart. You can hear the song in full alongside its handheld camera captured video above, and get it now from here.

Philip Murray Warson EP out now

Fans of fine English folk can stop whining over Mumford and Sons’ change of direction and refocus on new music now, thanks to the arrival of one Philip Murray Warson. A songwriter who prefers the gentle strum of an acoustic to the fevered pluck of a banjo (judging by his new EP at least), his sound is a pure, classy take on laid back folk.

‘Following Time’ (above) is joined on the two track EP by the evocative ‘Last of the Hunted’, which also brings a spooky spin to things. It all serves as a rather excellent teaser for what Warson could be capable of.

Hopefully an album will be on the way soon to see how this promising start can be built upon. in the meantime, if you’re a roots fan who likes discovering new tunes, head over to Bandcamp for your very own copy – well worth a couple of quid.

New EP: ‘Live on Love’ by Jess Thristan

Can you imagine world where people live without gadgets, machines and the various vagaries of the modern day? Jess Thristan can, and judging by her latest single, she quite likes the idea of it.

The video, ‘Live on Love’, can be seen above and speculates as to whether everything we use to make our lives easier actually prevents us from feeling happy and free. Deep stuff no doubt, but thankfully the message comes in the form of a fun, summery acoustic track that will stick in your head for days afterwards.

The song is taken from a brand new EP, also called ‘Live on Love’, which boasts two more tracks which are equally great. So if you’re enjoying the song above as you read this, jump on iTunes now and support independent music.

Self-titled debut LP: Michael Armstrong

Coming at 58 minutes and comprising 14 songs, the debut album from songwriter Michael Armstrong is something of a rarity in modern times. It’s a throwback to when albums had more substance and volume, when they were packed out to the full with quality tracks, as opposed to today’s equivalent – 45 minutes of music, mostly filler to make up the numbers around the singles.

A romantic notion perhaps, that the musicians of yesteryear all outweigh those of modern times, but that’s the feeling you’re left with by Michael Armstrong’s album. It’s a look back at the styles and ideas of songwriting past, giving credence to the phrase ‘they don’t make them like they used to’. It feels like Armstrong understands this point, and writes songs based on the older ways – and it pays off.

Maybe it’s the lovely production on the double layering of acoustic guitars that runs through it, maybe it’s the use of several saxophone solos throughout the album, but this is a new album not grounded in the modern. Instead inspiration comes from classic songwriters and the album is all the better for it.

It’s fitting then that one of the most moving tracks on the album is a cover of Billy Joel’s ‘Allentown’. That’s not to say that the original songs on show here aren’t great, but this cover sums things up nicely. A tribute to the good old days of songwriting, but with a contemporary sheen:

New video: Jess Thristan covers Wiz Khalifa for Reload Sessions

Jess Thristan, one of the UK’s most exciting artists at the moment, is someone who regularly surprises you. And, with a new EP out next week, the above video has been circulating, showing her on top form as she covers the Wiz Khalifa/Charlie Puth track ‘See You Again’.

Taking the slickly produced pop/hip hop hit and stripping it back to lovely effect, Thristan has shown her ability once again to find the heart of a song with her faultless vocal. Much better than the original, and well worth a listen.

New folk EP from Chris Hornsby

A new artist with old school charm, please welcome singer-songwriter Chris Hornsby:

This track, taken from upcoming EP ‘Human, Too Human’, sums up Chris Hornsby relatively well. Catchy folk tracks married to thoughtful lyrics and a bright feel to the production.

With five tracks to choose from over the course of the new EP, due May 22nd, there will be very few folk fans who won’t find something to enjoy here. And, with folk and acoustic singer-songwriters currently en vogue in the chart, it might well be that we all become a lot better acquainted with Chris Hornsby going forward.

Whether that’s his overall aim remains to be seen, but in the meantime this release is a great introduction to a promising new artist.