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.
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…
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.
Taken from his online mixtape ‘The Black Kupid 2’, the track above is the latest free download from Hackney based rapper and songwriter Kelz TBK.
With bods already taking note of him at key tastemakers such as MTV and the MOBO.com, his is a star on the rise, and he’s currently celebrating that fact by offering ‘Hold Up’ to old and new fans alike.
An edgy, tripping urban track that slowly draws you in and keeps you there, it’s a great introduction to his offbeat style for the uninitiated. And, with the backing of management company M2Music, Kelz has a lot of potential to break through even further in 2015.
With radio play building and his BBC selection for reality show ‘South Side Story’, Kelz TBK is well on the way to becoming a household name, and compelling evidence such as ‘Hold Up’ isn’t going to hurt either.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like if Lana Del Rey’s atmospheric pop was converted to a different sound? Namely, equally atmospheric alt-rock?
Well, thanks to Edinburgh based independent band BiasFirey, you no longer have to. Having recently released their last album ‘Hundred Thousand Souls’ and follow up singles, BiasFirey are now in writing mode, getting ready for new original material which will build on their growing fanbase and established moody sound.
However, in the absence of new original material, they have flexed their creative muscles with a new version of fantastic pop tune ‘Video Games’. Bridging the gap by being both a faithful adaptation and a new direction for those with rockier tastes, this is a nice way to whet the appetite for more original tracks going forward.
One of the UK’s hottest new singer/songwriters 19 year old Jess Thristan has recorded a breath taking live version of her upcoming new single ‘Little Bird’. The stripped back version of the wonderfully melodic and catchy tune is a masterly piece of music that fuses classic singer/songwriting with contemporary pop sensitivities.
The new single, which is released October 20th, is a follow up to April’s ‘Side By Side’ EP which gained major national radio play and reached number 8 in the iTunes singer/songwriter chart.
‘Little Bird’ shows a progression in the development of Jess as an extremely credible writer and performer. Also recorded at the Ont’ Sofa sessions was Jess’ interpretation of the classic Beatles track ‘From Me To You’. To view ‘From Me To You’ visit the link below.
With ‘Little Bird’ already achieving national radio play on BBC Radio 2 and with a live performance already booked on Clare Balding’s radio show, the single looks certain to further Jess Thristan’s reputation.
To see Jess perform ‘Little Bird’ for the Ont’ Sofa sessions visit the link below.
‘The death of John Mouse’ is John MOuse’s fourth album and first long player since 2010’s acclaimed ‘Humber Dogger Forties,’ and itfinally sees the light of day this summer, a remarkable feat of endurance and persistence: four years in the making and funded by an ingenious Kickstarter campaign.
‘The death of John Mouse’ is John MOuse’s finest work to date, crafting his unique quirk-pop songs into a grander whole, thus the instrumentals are more muscular, the hooks catchier, the vocals more emphatically delivered. While each song is rooted in John’s brutally personal lyrics that are laced with his witty South Walian slant on life.
The album is preceded by the excellent single “I Was A Goalkeeper” #IWAGK available to download July 7th via itunes is a sparky indie-pop duet between John and Gareth David, lead singer from LOS CAMPESINOS. It’s an anthem to child-parents and childhoods past, urging Steve Lamacq to recently admit ‘Possibly our favourite new football record’. It also features previous single Robbie Savage, a song that Mary Anne Hobbs recently described as ‘an extraordinary piece of poetry’ on BBC 6 Music. John MOuse will perform at GreenMan 2014 Festival alongside BEIRUT, Neutral Milk Hotel and First Aid Kit.
John MOuse, real name John Davies has been described as ‘A Welsh Beck,’ and ‘A Less Funny Half Man Half Biscuit’. Under his previous incarnation JT Mouse he worked with Sweet Baboo (aka Steven Black) while in 2010 he scored as cult hit with a song about a gay romance with another duet, this time with TV presenter Steve Jones. Airplay support for John MOuse includes Frank Skinner on Absolute Radio, Huw Stephens on BBC Radio 1, Steve Lamacq on BBC 6 Music and Adam Walton & Bethan Elfyn on BBC Radio Wales.
In the 15 years since its release, American Football’s self-titled debut full-length has quietly become one of the most fiercely beloved titles in the US indie Polyvinyl catalogue. Though the trio — Mike Kinsella (Cap’n Jazz, Owen, Owls), Steve Lamos, and Steve Holmes — only played a few shows and released just one other record (a three-song EP that preceded this full-length), their influence and legacy has steadily continued to grow in the time after they disbanded.
From its now iconic artwork to the band’s unique songwriting approach (highlighted by an emphasis on shifting time signatures and sincere lyrics), American Football proves a record doesn’t become a true classic through flashiness or catering to trends, but rather the deep emotional connection it forges between the music and the listener.
After guitarist Steve Holmes discovered a set of cassette tapes containing a variety of unreleased recordings, the band curated an album’s worth of these rare live recordings, demos, and practice sessions (in which the group rehearsed material they never recorded elsewhere) to complement the original record.
Now available as a limited edition 2xLP of 2,000 copies on 180-Gram Green/Yellow Vinyl exclusive to the Polyvinyl webstore, unlimited 180-Gram red vinyl, 2xCD and on cassette, American Football is being re-issued with beautifully expanded packaging that incorporates new photographs from Chris Strong along with lyrics, detailed liner notes written by the band, and never-before-seen band pictures.