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.
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/
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!
Pulling together a spacious, synth led pop vibe with a four on the floor dance beat, the new single/remix from NYC based prospect Voodoo Dancer is out now on iTunes. The song is an update of ‘Forever Girl’, a previous single which has been given a club makeover for round two and to strong effect.
Subtitled the ‘Raw Beautiful Club Mix’, remix duties were handled by Eric Kupper and give a previously laid back single a new pace and edge.
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…
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.
With a big show at Bitter End (NYC) coming later this month, New York dwelling due The Humble Grapes have unveiled a new single titled ‘Brooklyn Bridge’. Very easy on the ear thanks to its piano/vocal combination, the song is written by David Kaufman and Brie Capone, with the backing of their regular band.
This combination has worked hard to gain some traction on the New York musical landscape, while remaining independent and carving their own path for the last two years.
Kaufman’s contribution is to take simple(ish) chord patterns and spin them into lovely piano parts with nice subtle notes and details. Capone meanwhile is the vocalist, and has a very nice, deep timbre to her voice which sets it apart. You can hear the song in full alongside its handheld camera captured video above, and get it now from here.
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.
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.