A UK rapper, songwriter and producer with a career spanning back into the 90s, Ed Accura is an artist with a wide-ranging background. Starting out in the midst of an underground jazz funk boom, he later moved across into the world of hip hop, with new single ‘Bear a Witness’ the latest example of his work.
Having been a member of a number of collectives, Accura is now working alone to write infectious, intelligent hip hop with an accessible edge. Written to draw attention to the plight of London’s homeless – trying to make ends meet in the freezing winter months – ‘Bear a Witness’ manages to walk that tightrope that allows it to be a worth track without being overly earnest.
A country-folk song in the grand tradition of great break-up tunes, ‘You’ is the title track from the brand new Angie and the Deserters EP. Accompanied by the melancholic but compelling video above, the song is something of a slow burner, but infused with lyrical feeling throughout.
Carried by the vocal of the eponymous Angie, the song does a great job of describing fresh heartache. It’s a premise well covered in the genre, yet Angie and the Deserters somehow make it feel fresh. If this is an indication of what to expect from the EP as a whole, it’s an easy one to recommend.
In recent years it’s been easier than ever to get hold of new folk and country music, so fans of the genre often have almost too much choice when it comes to new artists. One artist that definitely should jump to the top of your ‘must listen’ list is Angie and the Deserters.
A US band who have toured Europe as well as their own country, they are steadily building a reputation for well written songs like new single ‘Country Radio’. As is the tradition, the track tells something of a tale – one which may or may not be based on truth – and wraps it warmly in a lilting vocal and flickering guitar.
The single is taken from an album titled ‘Blood Like Wine’ which, if the rest of the songs are anything like this, will be well worth checking out.
A songwriter with a background in dance (the art, not the music genre), it’s not overly surprising that US artist Rachel Sage has named her upcoming album ‘Choreographic’. That album, which blends Sage’s catchy style of pop song writing with a touch of folk and a hint of rock, is set to be a 14 track treat including the track above, ‘Try Try Try’.
If you’re in any doubt about the quality of her music, you should bear in mind that her band include musicians who have played with Coldplay, Adele and many others, so there’s a fine pedigree there.
This quality comes across in both the track above and the upcoming single ‘I Don’t Believe It’ – the video for which is coming soon. In the meantime, check out https://www.facebook.com/rachaelsagepage/ for the most up to date info (including a special UK date on June 2nd….).
Taken from his self-titled EP (still out on Bandcamp), ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is the latest single released by Philip Murray Warson. Something of a folk standard, the track was originally written by Francis McPeake from ‘The Braes of Balquhither’ by Robert Tannahill. However, this new incarnation does a great job of showcasing Warson’s lovely acoustic lilt.
With an obvious sense of fun but a real touch of affection to it to, new single ‘Nigella’ is due for release on April 1st. Written by Simon Clothier but released under the moniker Nigellarox, it’s a nod of the head to TV chef Nigella Lawson and her somewhat unique charms.
The song itself has a few unique charms of its own, which is perhaps why its release is backed by Universal Records – and when a songwriter gets backing like that for a one-off single with a tinge of novelty factor, there’s every chance that writer will have a long and successful career.
What do you get when you mix a cult folk artist and a British rock icon – both of whom have been on the road and writing great songs for many years? And then what happens if you put them together for a track paying tribute to a great who inspired both of them?
You get ‘Chameleon’, the new single by Pete Townshend and Des Horsfall out this Friday (11th).
Horsfall is the aformentioned folk artist, while Pete Townshend has had a stratospheric career as part of the who. Both are real lovers of music, and both were influenced by Ronnie Lane – former bassist of The Small Faces, the Faces and later Slim Chance. It’s this final, less well known project that inspired Des Horsfall to release a triple album dedicated to Lane, and the second volume ‘The Bastard’s Tin’ is out next year.
First though, there’s plenty of time to enjoy this single. It’s a stone cold stunner.
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.
Today (Nov 1st) sees the release of ‘Downtown’, a stunningly beautiful compilation album featuring some of the top UK folk artists on the up right now. Released by the small but perfectly formed Folkstock Records, you can get it now via their webpage if you like what you hear above.
However, if you do like what you hear above and you live in the London area, we have good news. You can get a free copy of ‘Downtown’ if you grab a ticket to one of their Emerging Artist Showcases at the London Folk and Roots Festival.
Kelly Oliver is headlining the all female ‘Folk’ evening on 11th November at The Islington. Joining her are Minnie Birch from Hemel Hempstead, Daria Kulesh from Kings Langley and Zoe Wren from London, currently studying music at Cambridge University. All the acts have impressive stories to tell and songs to sing and are worthy of a national platform.
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.