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.
Evocative and infectious in equal measure, ’17 Days’ is the new single from LA band on the rise Angie and the Deserters. Blending straight up rock with a pop-fuelled country sound, it’s the third single in the row which shows that this band are one to be reckoned with going forward.
They are already picking up steam online with their energetic and well produced songs so far, and each one seems to be stronger than the last. It’s a pattern which will be tough to retain, obviously, but even if they can just keep their batting average this high then Angie and the Deserters will be a band whose wagon is well worth riding on.
Quickly building a reputation for their passionate and emotional song writing, US roots outfit Angie and the Deserters have returned with another single from their latest EP (‘You’) – the excellently titled ‘Forgetting to Forget’.
Even the title is evocative, which is only enhanced once those guitars start strumming and the heart strings are tugged by the thoughtful lyrics. Specialising in thoughtful Americana country-rock, this is a band well worth paying attention to. Whether you’re already partial to a touch of roots music, or just prefer your pop music to be catchy and accessible, there’s something here for you to enjoy.
Clocking in at a tidy 5 tracks totalling around 20 minutes, the new EP from original song writer Joe Rhinewine is a short, sharp and well judged introduction to perhaps one of the most unusual artists you’re likely to hear this year. With a healthy respect for the skill and musicianship that goes into old school funk and blues, Rhinewine has embraced the style for his ‘Songs from NowHere’ EP, but adapted it to make it his own.
The blues foundations of the record, which are played with real dexterity by Rhinewine himself, take something of a backseat to his unique lyrical writing style and delivery. As a practicing Buddhist, it won’t surprise you to learn that some of his songs take on a real depth of meaning and feeling, while others border on the banal. Take for example the track above – delivering sly humour while not being about anything in particular. This blend of the blues, the deep and the shallow make for a very compelling collection, well worth seeking out on Amazon if you’re in the mood for something different.
When track number one of your album is the soulful, upbeat ”Skippin’ Stones’ – which can be heard above – then the early indications are you’re on to a winner. The good news for US singer Kelly Moneymaker, is that those early indications are correct.
The 12 tracks that follow are just as joyful, and just as full of energy. They don’t all have this pace, because a bit of light and shade is needed to stop things becoming monotonous.
However, whether the songs are fleet of foot (‘Skippin’ Stones’, ‘Mudslide’), mid-tempo (‘Campin’ Song’) or slow (‘You Know How To Love Me’), this feels like a celebration. A celebration of soul, rock and roll and an epic vocal performance from Moneymaker.
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.
Described on the soundcloud page as ‘Soulful, sinful pop and longing from the City of Angels’, the new songwriting project from Cali songwriter Mimi R and producer Andrew Brassell is called ‘The Angeles Project’.
Atmopsheric and moving in an off kilter kind of way, their music is both a love and a hate letter to their home city of Los Angeles, celebrated in the form of their self-titled debut EP. The track above is the lead single, ‘Paper Heart’, which perfectly encapsulates the feel of the whole thing. An almost-country pop vibe but with a contemporary, urban feel, this is really excellent work from the first time collaborators. And, as diverse as that description sounds, there’s even some space in there for some 80s vibes too.
It all adds up to a great first release, available now on iTunes and well recommended by us. If you only try out one contemporary-80s-altpop-country group this week, make it this one.