Tom Townsend album ‘Leave It Up To Me’ creates a perfect blend of pop, soul and jazz

Blending a range of roots based genres, from jazz to acoustic, excellent songwriter Tom Townsend is ready to open 2018 with a bang, releasing new album ‘Leave It Up To Me’ throughout the UK. Proficient in a number of instruments, Townsend started with drums and guitar but expanding into piano, bass guitar and even mandolin. It makes you sick how talented he is.

It’s culminated in an album which is stuffed to the gills with excellent songs, amongst which you’d be hard pressed not to find something to fall in love with. ‘Be For Me’ is a balladic highlight, as is album closer ‘Slowly’, with its combination of piano and acoustic guitar. It’s in these slower, more contemplative moments that the album is maybe at its strongest, but that’s not to say the more upbeat toe-tappers don’t have plenty to offer.

‘Leave It Up To Me’ is out on January 15th 2018 – offer your support at  http://www.tomtownsend.co.uk/

Magazine Gap EP ‘Calling Card’ out Nov 25th

A trio of talented musicians from the UK, Magazine Gap are a band who have been on the radar a lot recently. In recent months, they have released videos one by one for tracks from their excellent upcoming EP ‘Calling Card’, and finally it’s time for the title track itself to see the light of day.

Continuing the pattern from their previous tracks, the song benefits from adding strong funk and soul influences to the pop structures. Full of neat stabs, technical licks and fine musical touches, the song displays the talent of the players while never forgetting it needs to find an audience. Therefore, what could have turned into talented but troublesome noodling is moulded into a catchy, upbeat pop-funk tune. Roll on the EP – http://magazinegap.com/

‘Body Language’ free download from Magazine Gap

Magazine Gap are having a busy year, with an EP on the way and a previous single ‘What’s That About?’ getting plenty of attention. Their latest single, ‘Body Language’ is another step on a very promising journey, available now for free download from Soundcloud.

Starting with a great opening that lays the funky groundwork as soon as it hits, this track is built around a simply lovely groove, performed by and group who are clearly on their game and know what they’re going for. It’s a well-produced brand of pop-rock, feeding off the current trend for adding in funk tropes to dance-floor friendly effect.

Dale McKay to release new classy new pop EP this week

He’s been writing songs at quite a rate of knots for some time now, and this Friday (September 16th) sees the return of the excellent Dale McKay with his new four track EP ‘Here and Now’.

A specialist in smooth, classy, original pop, McKay has been working hard to turn out high quality music and win new fans, with this latest release set to win over even more. His sound is typified by ‘Make You Happy’, the track above, which shows that he has a way with words and knows how to make an impactful chorus work.

If the EP is well received, hopefully there will be more on the way soon too, because fresh original pop music is hard to come by these days!

US soul vocalist Kelly Moneymaker releases double Christmas single for charity

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…

iTunes: Home For the Holidays / Jingle Bells

Maxi Jazz (Faithless) returns with new band, new single and live UK dates

Having found huge, worldwide acclaim as part of dance music powerhouse Faithless, multi-talented performer Maxi Jazz is back with a new band and a new sound.

The band, The E-Type Boys, explore a different side to Maxi’s musical personality. Inspired by the funk, soul, reggae and jazz genres, this is a darker sound in many ways, utterly compelling throughout. Knowing Maxi Jazz’s background in full on dance only makes it all the more intriguing.

There’s more new music coming in the New Year, but in the meantime Maxi Jazz and the E Type Boys have offered up a little taste of what’s to come with the track above, ‘Bitter Love’.

You can also find the band performing live if you’re quick, with dates in Manchester tonight (Tuesday 8th) at Club Academy and in Birmingham on tomorrow (Wednesday 9th) at Institute The Library before heading off to Europe.

Sign up for all the news at http://maxijazz-etypeboys.com/

New album from Songs For Mr Sloane, ‘It Is What It Is’

Founded by London’s Peter Dale (vox/keys/guitars) and Bucks based Guy Snook (Bass guitar), Songs For Mr Sloane is a loose group of great musicians who come together to create great music with very few boundaries. With each musician coming into the group with a different taste and sensibility, their new album ‘It Is What It Is’ bubbles with wide ranging ideas, making it difficult to nail down in terms of genre.

The title track for example is a nice funky little number, but not typical of the album as a whole. Instead, you get an eclectic bunch of ideas. ‘Undiscovered’ for example is a quasi-pop track with 80s style sax lines. ‘Oh Doctor X’ meanwhile opens with an organ drone and handclap refain which gives way to blues guitar lines.

Each song has its own style and voice, making it difficult to identify a common thread. It means the album doesn’t hand together as a flowing composition, but as a collection of high quality songs by good musicians it’s a triumph.

New band alert: The Brigantes – new video and free DL ‘Racket’ out now

With a new free download single out now (see the video above and get your free DL from Soundcloud), it seems like the perfect time to get into The Brigantes.

‘Racket’ by name, they make a racket (in a good way) by nature with this lovely, uniquely acoustic take on reggae-funk. The performances, instrumentation and vocals are all really solid, and captured will with clean, no-nonsense production. If this is a sign of things to come, then the Brigantes are well worth keeping an eye (or even two) on.

New single from Resonance – ‘Mister Policeman’

Kicking straight in with a funk sensibility and never letting go from there, ‘Mister Policeman’ is one of two new singles from Resonance.

The video (below) is a simple but elegant showcase for a track which doesn’t really need bells and whistles as it sits into it’s groove early and then feeds on its own momentum.

Check it for yourself:

You can download Resonance’s ‘Mister Policeman’ now on iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/album/mis… – and keep an eye out too for their single ‘Reverie’ – a samba/calypso/indie curio that’s a lot of fun.