With ‘Parachutes’ soulful singer/songwriter Jordan Mackampa further proves himself to be one of the most compassionate and empathetic songwriters to emerge in recent years. His revelatory lyricism shows such a keen understanding for people’s emotions and struggles; his words cutting right to the heart of the issue and opening up your eyes, his reassuring vocals easing you in to self reflection. He’s an artist as attuned to thinking as he is to feeling. That really comes to the fore with his new single, which deals with people who aren’t who they pretend to be, and its video which takes an unflinching look at domestic abuse. Some people mistake love, kindness and patience for weakness and are all too keen to take advantage, but everyone has a breaking point at which they don’t want to be hurt anymore. It takes real courage to stand up and say you no longer want to be stuck giving more love than you receive in return. Jordan’s considerate and understanding approach to songwriting is a real breath of fresh air. He’s the kind of artist that the world needs more of, and I look forward to seeing him continue to go from strength to strength.
Gozer Goodspeed – Running with the Outliers
Folk | Blues
Endings needn’t be something to run from. They’re not some bottomless chasm waiting further down the path, they don’t have to mean that all that came before will crumble into dust and mean nothing. Sometimes we have to face up to the fact that one chapter needs to close before another one can begin, and that change can sometimes be for the best. ‘This Is Where It Ends’ is an ode to letting go. The resplendent new single from Richard Walters finds the bittersweet balance between accepting the end and mourning all that comes with it, but finding solace in closure, in the thought of new opportunity, in saying goodbye with grace and goodwill. The skittering beat dancing like butterflies in your stomach, its quirky video’s take on classic horror like a friendly quip to lighten the mood at a final meeting, his heavenly vocals like a solitary light clinging on as night falls. Ironically enough this is the kind of song you wish would never end…
As 2019 begins winding down, and a new year lies just around the corner, my thoughts are already turning to what new albums I have to look forward to in 2020. After finding myself bewitched by their last record Beings way back in 2015, the news that Lanterns On The Lake have a new record on the way puts them right at the top of my list. If lead single ‘Every Atom’ is anything to go by, the new album will be every bit as stunning as the last. The first cut from Spook The Herd, out 21st February, ‘Every Atom’ is a beautifully bittersweet ode to love and loss. Written about the death of a loved one and the struggle to accept that they are gone forever, it sees the band at their lyrical peak. Its chorus of “If I have to split every atom just to find a trace of you, That’s what I’ll do” is as poignant and hard-hitting as any I’ve heard since starting the blog. To hear such rich and inventive lyricism delivered in Hazel Wilde’s dreamy vocals is just the icing on the cake.
Michael Kiwanuka – KIWANUKA
Soul | R&B
When you think about it music has a narrow scope when compared to other media. In books, films, TV etc it’s the norm to delve into complex questions, create compelling stories and dream up imaginative settings, while in music we often dwell on the same inward looking topics like love and heartbreak. While this can be frustrating at times, it makes the inventive and ambitious tracks that break the mould all the more special. ‘The Wishing Tree’ is just such a song. Written from the perspective of a tree venting its ire at the insatiable greed of mankind, it makes for a unique and creative set up for a song, and one that feels all the more meaningful given the recent discourse surrounding climate change. There’s so much depth to this song that can be explored. The fairytale style premise adds a timeless mystical air, while the nuanced electronic flourishes offer something fresh and contemporary. It has all the loss and confusion of a break-up ballad, the indignant defiance of a protest anthem, the cinematic scope of some epic tale, all woven into Megan’s mesmerising powerhouse vocals.
If you somehow haven’t yet decided who to vote for in the UK’s most important election in generations, then here is a handy guide. It’s also important to remember to register to vote while you still can. Belwood doesn’t claim to be an expert opinion on many things… except, of course, music! So what would the country’s political parties look like when translated into band form? Continue reading
It’s always a great feeling when you stumble across a song that reminds you of the power that music can have. No matter how you feel, there is a song for it. Someone somewhere has had much the same thoughts running through their head as you, and they managed to find the right words to capture some abstract, indescribable feeling and shared them with the world so that people can find solace in the fact that someone out there understands. London based singer/songwriter is a fine example of this as he channels Jeff Buckley for his latest single ‘Stage Of Fools’. Taken from his new EP Cordelia out 15th November, the track superbly captures the sensation of drifting from one day to the next without purpose, the struggle of finding meaning in life. Ollie’s words acutely convey the languid and hollow sensation of it all, but the music is conversely bright and engaging. His soft soaring vocals spark life where there was none before and seeks to fill the void. Never has a song about emptiness been so fulfilling.
There are two kinds of loneliness. The first is a deep-rooted need for companionship. Like many animals we are social creatures, we aren’t meant to be alone. We all need someone to talk to, we need to break out of our little bubble and feel someone else’s skin against our own. The first loneliness is a simple need for human contact, the second is something far more profound and spiritual. The second is a longing for a meaningful connection. True love, a soulmate, call it what you will, it’s the person that you feel in perfect harmony with. On her elegant new single ‘Along The Lonely’, taken from her new EP Here Comes The Snowstorm, Martha Bean shares how the two can work against each other. How in our eagerness to fulfil the first, we neglect the second. How our need to have someone to hold close can come before asking if they are the right person.
Cattle & Cane – Navigator
Pop | Folk