Top Tracks: Colour Picture Book – This Time Around

I honestly don’t know where to start with this one. Do I talk about the funky bass that’s simply begging you to dance, or the unerring and steadfast drums that navigate complex rhythms with ease. How about the warm vintage organ glow that permeates the entire track, the soaring yet gritty vocals that come from somewhere deep within, or the incredible guitar solo plucked straight from another time that feels as though the instrument is an extension of the player. All of these elements require at least a full post on their own to do them justice. How much soul can you pack into just one song? – an awful lot it seems. To say this Canadian power trio are on fire with their latest single would be a massive understatement, on ‘This Time Around’ they are a raging inferno.


Top Tracks: Tom Leeb – Are We Too Late

Any song whose video opens with a gorgeous car cruising through serene countryside gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me, but there’s a lot more to the latest single from French folk artist Tom Leeb than just its wanderlust inducing visuals. Tom’s striking gritty vocals work wonderfully with the elegant swell of strings to make a song that is raw and passionate, whilst also carrying a quiet air of thoughtfulness. Detailing the struggles of a long distance relationship, of being loved but still feeling isolated, that feeling of sand slipping through your fingers no matter how hard you cling on, it is a masterclass in heartfelt songwriting. Though the love regaled in the song may end in heartbreak, the song itself is a long distance love built to last, as with ‘Are We Too Late’ Tom will assuredly make people the world over fall in love with his music.

Interview: Scott Lloyd

scott lloydWith a focus on honest and heartfelt lyricism, up-and-coming singer/songwriter Scott Lloyd has certainly been making a name for himself in the Manchester scene, standing out from the crowd with his mature and meaningful mix of folk and Americana. With an enviable string of independently released EPs to his name, and a relentless touring schedule over recent years, his work ethic has rightfully yielded him praise and acknowledgement as he now moves forward as a newly signed artist. I had a chat with him about his most recent single and his journey thus far:  Continue reading

Top Tracks: Vulgarians – Dead People Are Easier To Love

This latest track from Hull’s up and coming post-punk powerhouse is just the song you need to get you feeling fired up. ‘Dead People Are Easier To Love’ feels as though ‘Eric’s Trip’ by Sonic Youth has been pushed to absolute breaking point. The fact that it was written a mere matter of hours before being recorded only goes part way in explaining the sense of spontaneity and urgency found here. The tortured guitar tones and wild frantic vocals create just the most glorious chaos you could ask for. The rock solid bass line keeps the whole thing grounded, and the polished and stylish synths that weave their way through the song contrast wonderfully with all the anarchic elements in the foreground all vying for your attention. Post-punk has seen a real resurgence in recent years, and Vulgarians have provided us with one of the finer examples with their unbridled new single.

Top Tracks: Hamish Anderson – No Good

With such a tried and tested style as blues rock, forming the backbone of rock music as we know it for generations, it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. You need to bring something new to the table, or be very good at what you do. Australian artist Hamish Anderson dabbles in a little of both with his new track ‘No Good’. Channelling the likes of Tom Petty and Ryan Adams, this Americana tinged track offers a warm and welcoming sound with its melodic hooks and the golden glow of the vintage organ sound. ‘No Good’ has plenty of contemporary pop panache to ensure that it grabs your attention right from the start, and ensures that the song stays with you long after in a way that very few modern blues acts manage to pull off. ‘No Good’ is wonderfully accessible and memorable, but the slick and stylish guitar work shows that Hamish can still hold his own against the blues’ heavy-hitters from days gone by.

Top Tracks: Sarah MacDougall – We Are Fire

What starts as just the soft repeating hum of retro 80s synths soon transforms into something else entirely. This new track from Canada based singer/songwriter Sarah MacDougall launches from gentle synthpop into a full-blown anthemic fight song. ‘We Are Fire’, taken from her forthcoming album All The Hours I Have Left To Tell You Anything out 2nd November, is a song to unite and inspire those who dare to be different. Celebrating those who abandon labels and seek to forge their own path in life, the bombastic drums resonate within you like some primal call to arms. Seeking to embrace our differences and encourage those who defy the norm, ‘We Are Fire’ is the kind of song to ignite change and ensure people start seeing others, and themselves, a little differently.