Interview: AVEC

avecIt seems there’s no rest for the wicked… wickedly talented that is. Following the success of her debut album What If We Never Forget earlier this year, Austrian singer/songwriter AVEC is already gearing up to release a new record this autumn. Heaven / Hell promises to expand on the ethereal folk soundscapes and therapeutic lyricism that made the debut so spellbinding, as well as secure her place as one of the best new acts to emerge in 2018. I caught her ahead of her first UK appearance at The Great Escape to ask about the new record.  Continue reading

Top Tracks: Sam Valdez – Farther Away

After a few years of running a music blog, you begin to pick up on trends and take note of what genres and styles most frequently appear in your inbox. Much to my delight a plethora of great Americana and dream pop tracks end up being sent my way, but it is rare indeed to find a song that so perfectly balances both styles. Inspired by the likes of Sufjan Stevens and The War On Drugs, the new single from Sam Valdez ‘Farther Away’ boasts blissful shimmering soundscapes paired with honest heartland folk vibes. Sam’s dreamy vocals are the kind that you can just get lost in. Having grown up on the edge of the Nevada desert, it’s not hard to see the effect it had on Sam’s songwriting. ‘Father Away’ radiates warmth like the desert sun itself, all the while dancing like a mirage on the horizon and luring you deeper under its spell.

Top Tracks: The New Pacific – Get Away

This fantastically frenetic new track from LA based alt rock band The New Pacific is the perfect song to get you all fired up. The intro does its best to ease you in, but it only prolongs the inevitable as you’re soon consumed by the unrelenting opening guitar. The more subdued chorus lures you into a false sense of security with its hypnotic drums and mesmeric melodic vocals, but those high-octane riffs soon jump back into action to pull you in to an adrenaline fuelled thrill ride. A track all about spiralling out of control, both on a personal level and looking out at the state of the world, ‘Get Away’ fits the theme well by imbuing a sense of barely restrained chaos in the song’s more tempestuous moments. It’s the kind of song that makes you feel invincible, like you can weather whatever the world throws at you.

Top Tracks: Luke Sital-Singh – Weight Of Love

Sometimes the best way to get a little perspective on your problems and escape the monotony of the daily grind is to take a step back and look at the bigger picture. Ditch the hustle and bustle of the city and take a moment to feel the breeze, listen to the birds singing, and remind yourself that we’re all a part of this magnificent living thing we call Earth. It’s can be such a humbling and revitalising experience, and that sensation is portrayed brilliantly in the title track from Luke Sital-Singh’s latest EP Weight Of Love. It boasts rich lyrical imagery, and Luke’s voice contains such heartfelt passion that it sounds as though he’s pleading to the heavens from atop a cliff edge. It’s such a real and honest performance, one of those rare songs recorded to capture its subtle imperfections, giving it character in such a way that you could never replicate the magic of the moment.

Top Tracks: The Honest Heart Collective – Separate Ways

Music is a wonderful means of expression, but it often seems like that potential goes to waste. There are millions of songs out there about love, or heartbreak, or just having a crazy night out, but there are so many other feelings and situations that affect countless people that don’t make anywhere near as many song appearances as they should. Take the new single from Canada’s own Honest Heart Collective. Channelling The Gaslight Anthem with their Americana inspired indie hit ‘Separate Ways’, the band discuss the sadness, confusion, and misplaced guilt of living in a broken home. This impassioned track deals with seeing the two people you love most drift apart, and battling the thought that something you did had a part to play in driving a wedge between them. It’s a powerful and heartfelt performance whose message is sure to be profoundly important for so many people. Maybe you don’t need lots of songs on a subject after all, when one song can get it all as spot on as this.

Live Review: Florence + the Machine, The Baths Hall Scunthorpe, 6th May 2018

flobaths1They say that lightning doesn’t strike twice, but that clearly isn’t the case for Scunthorpe’s Baths Hall. Just last year they played host to Arcade Fire, an event that had fans doing a double take in shock when it was announced. The Canadian indie rockers must have spread the word about what an amazing night it was, as their good friend Florence Welch decided to stop there too. In much of a similar vein, the gig was billed as an intimate get-together for the band to warm up and give songs from the new album a road test before its release. I was lucky enought to grab a place at the front for a gig experience among the best you could ever hope for.  Continue reading

Top Tracks: Westrin & Mowry – Company I Keep

One of the greatest wonders of the modern day is in how the world can share thoughts and ideas far and wide with the greatest of ease. Not only can small bands find new audiences for their music thousands of miles away, but all the music in the world is readily available as a source of inspiration. These days you have Scandinavian bands embracing Americana, Japanese acts experimenting with European metal styles, and even have immensely talented duos from Michigan producing songs like ‘Company I Keep’ that perfectly capture the spirit of Irish folk. In this refreshing new track from Westrin & Mowry they so acutely nail the iconic sound and energy as though it were as simple as breathing. I can just imagine a cosy pub; beer flowing, laughter sounding, a smile on every face, and this song being bellowed out with enough enthusiasm to make the very rafters creak… and there’s no surer sign of great songwriting than that.