Rachel Alice Johnson is a Scottish singer-songwriter enjoying a stellar year, and with new single ‘Coming Down Slow’ she has kept up her 2017 with ease.
Boasting a compellingly dark opening, the song flows effortlessly towards a lighter tone before a massive closing section where distorted guitar makes a huge impact before returning to the start of the loop. It’s effective, it’s uncomplicated, and it’s undeniably enjoyable.
So here’s to Rachel Alice Johnson’s final release of a very strong 2017 – roll on next year which promises to be even bigger.
A UK band with their roots firmly planted in the recent traditions of British Rock, Colour Colour are a three piece with true potential. Their new EP ‘Do Something Beautiful’ comes out in all the usual online places this Friday (June 10th) and marks the arrival of a genuine new contender on the indie scene.
As a taster of what’s to come, Colour Colour have released the lead single from the EP (above), and it’s a cracker. Gritty and raw but at the same time slick in its production, it’s clean as a whistle and shows a real proficiency for song writing. It’s upbeat, gets you in the mood for a dance, and has a decent message too. What’s not to like?
The video above is as good an introduction to a new independent release as you’re ever going to get. With a wide cast of characters, it does a top job of encapsulating a project which should be lauded for shedding a light on such a wide array of independent talent.
In short, the Nine Beats Collective is an album which showcases the talents of writers, musicians, poets and troubadours. Each contributor has a unique style, and the songs are each designed to highlight cultural and political issues in the world today.
It makes for a sprawling LP release, totalling an incredible 26 tracks. Such is the passion of the people involved that it makes for a compelling listen through out. If you can’t find something you enjoy in here, you’re not listening.
When the first two tracks from an alt-folk EP are titled ‘Standing at the End of the World’ and ‘Say Hello to the Devil’, I think it’s fair to say that the stage is set in terms of tone. Thankfully, in the case of Spencer Robinson’s new EP, those titles aren’t a sign of a dreary, miserable collection of folk, but simply an indicator of mood.
This is a sly, downbeat release with shadowy themes throughout, dealing with hard truths in a world which is struggling with hard times. It could be argued, perhaps, that with the current political climate the music industry should serve as an upbeat distraction. However, with songs this well written, you won’t mind being turned towards the dark side. You can see for yourself at the link above, where you can sample the full five tracks before downloading them for yourself from iTunes.
Occasionally songs come along which are so well produced and executed that you immediately feel at home with them. The new single from George Montague, ‘Lost’, falls into that category. From that very first acoustic strum of the guitar, this song screams quality – a trait that extends to the full album from which it is taken.
‘Curiouser and Curiouser George’ is the full LP, released later this summer, which may well find George Montague the spotlight he deserves. His YouTube views are already in the millions and radio support has been strong from both a local and national standpoint. However, teetering on the edge is not enough in this game. With any luck, ‘Curiouser and Curiouser George’ might just be the thing to push him over. If you like what you’re hearing, help give that push by pre-ordering on iTunes and Amazon.
The Edinburgh music scene has, for a long time, been home to some of the jewels of independent music who have gone on to do great things around the world. There’s must be something in the water up there, as the latest off that beautiful city’s production line is the ethereal Rachel Alice Johnson.
New single ‘Pieces of Me’, out now, is a pure pop track in the best sense. It shows that Johnson, described more as a rocker than anything else, is more than a one trick pony. There are subtle complexities at play here, making for a quietly infectious jewel of a song.
A fine singer-songwriter who has featured in these pages before, Patrick McCallion is a shining light emanating from the north of England. A songwriter who revels in raw sounds and smart, creative songwriting, his new single ‘Voices’ comes out at the end of this month.
In order to promote it, the video above finds McCallion on cheeky form, marrying silent film images to his indie-rock sound to solid effect. If you like what you’re hearing, follow him online at the links below, and make a note in your diary to nab the single once it’s out.
Released at the end of January, the new album from John Wheeler is something of an unusual proposition. Having made his name as front man of cult group Hayseed Dixie, Wheeler has gone solo for a new album, his second, fittingly titled ‘Difficult #2 album’. You don’t have to work hard to recognise the subtext. Especially when you consider the first single is called ‘Too Much Poop to Flush’.
Those who groan at the title punnery though should look further into this album – one on which Wheeler slightly moves away from the straighter folk leanings of Hayseed Dixie and enters a slightly more roots-rock environment. It’s a album which does two things.
One, it establishes Wheeler as a solo performer of note, and though his Hayseed Dixie material is strong as ever, he has plenty to offer of his own volition. Two, the album makes some good points about the way people live their lives, while avoiding the speechifying and preaching that often comes with this approach. ‘Too Much Poop to Flush’ is a great example of this.
Taken literally, the title suggests a track of a very different tone to the one above. Instead, the song makes a very important point – if the human race keeps making such a mess of the planet, we will reach a point where we won’t be able to clean up after ourselves. It’s a point which is made often in mainstream media, but John Wheeler is taking a different approach, and should be applauded for that.
Fans of great historic soul singers may already be aware of the excellent Kelly Moneymaker. Following ably in the footsteps of vocalists such as Aretha Franklin, her rasping tone and huge power is enough to give anyone a run for their money.
This Christmas, Kelly Moneymaker has turned those vocal and soul talents to two festive singles, as heard above. Of course, the classic ‘Jingle Bells’ is instantly recogniseable, albeit performed in Moneymaker’s jazzy soul style. ‘Home for the Holidays’ meanwhile is a lovely original number, sharing memories of Christmas past in a heartwarming fashion.
Equally heartwarming, both singles are raising money for a good cause. Each copy bought equals a donation to NRDC.org & Polar Bears International, providing research on population, habitat, maternal den studies, body condition, aid policy-makers, research/eduction on effects of greenhouse gases. Particularly pertinent given the mild winter we’re having right now…
New York artist Reigen is a dance-pop artist on the rise in New York’s underground electronica scene. His tracks are radio ready and well produced, matching some great dance beats to his airy vocal to infectious effect.
His new single, ‘Real New Yorker’, is perhaps his strongest single in a two year period which has seen him get better and better over the course of five single releases. Each of his previous tracks (which can be found at Soundcloud along with this free download) boast several qualities, but here he’s tied a number of them together for one, showstopping turn.
You can find more and learn all about Reigen’s music at his website.