Top Tracks: Flo – Velvet

As blissfully smooth as its name suggests, this new song from London based artist Flo is an elegant and engaging work of beauty. With gentle piano and brushed drum beats that fall like raindrops, strings that soar like a songbird over verdant fields, and vocals as soothing as the sweetest lullaby, this track carries a truly timeless feel. Written from the perspective of her parents, and even featuring them on violin, ‘Velvet’ offers a cinematic atmosphere that leaves you feeling as immersed in your own story as the one that the song itself weaves. It’s a song made for those “staring out of the window and contemplating life” moments, and as it draws you in you begin to forget that a world outside ‘Velvet’ exists. This sweet and sophisticated track is almost too good at what it does, offering the most entrancing and exquisite atmosphere of the year.

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Live Review: Barn on the Farm Festival 2018

botfEven in the midst of the most unbearable heatwave I’ve ever experienced, the best weekend of the year didn’t disappoint. While most festivals would have had people literally fighting over the rare patches of shade, or disappearing to watch the England match and causing havoc on their return, this is Barn on the Farm we’re talking about. Everyone that’s been to this little patch of paradise can attest to the indescribable sense of community, and for whatever reason that feeling was stronger than ever this year. On the year where the festival returns to its roots in breaking new artists, I was lucky enough to occupy Over Farm for the full four days and catch all the action.  Continue reading

Are The Charts Beyond Saving?

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Photo by Jessica Lewis on Pexels.com

While not every song that graces the charts is worthy of derision, it’s no secret that the charts do very little to properly represent both music and the music industry as a whole. Songs that are just products of lazy corporate entities designed to make profits, that constantly clog up the single charts, do nothing to alleviate the age-old mentality of “modern music is rubbish, music was better back in my day!“. But why are the charts so broken and can they be fixed?  Continue reading

Top Tracks: Echo Nebraska – Follow Me

“I won’t let tragedy hang over me” – a laudable decision, but by no means an easy one. After losing their bassist Gunn Park to cancer, it’s understandable that the loss would have a big impact on the creation of Echo Nebraska’s new album. But rather than dwell on what can’t be changed, these Vancouver folk rockers have made sure that their new record Hold Up to the Fire celebrates all the joy and love in life that’s still there to be cherished. Lead single ‘Follow Me’ is a prime example. Boasting big hooks and some fantastic violin, the track reminds us of the people who are always there for us when we need them, and that with our loved one’s by our side we can overcome any adversity. Perfect for fans of Mumford & Sons and The Lumineers, this wonderfully uplifting track is a welcome reminder not to take what we have for granted, and be thankful for the people that bring us joy and comfort.

Top Tracks: Welfare – What I Know, I Know With You

If you’re looking for a song more tranquil and soothing than even your sweetest dreams then I have found the perfect track for you. This sun-drenched new song from Pat Whelan, aka Welfare, is all that and more. ‘What I Know, I Know With You’, taken from his new EP Useful Toil, is a shot of pure serenity to help sooth you on even the most troubled of days. Though it may have been written off the grid in the Welsh Marches, this track is far more reminiscent of a carefree stint in the south of France. You can just imagine this track as the perfect soundtrack for a montage of cruising through the Riviera or down a winding road alongside idyllic vineyards. The lush and dreamy soundscape at work here lends itself to creating one of the most blissful pieces of music that I’ve heard in a long time.

Top Tracks: The Snuts – Seasons

It’s not often you see a band undertake a meteoric rise anymore, so when a band like that comes around you feel the need to sit up and pay attention. Having amassed over a million streams just of their early demos, without any proper promotion, the buzz around this Scottish band is almost palpable. And having just performed at TRNSMT is sure to further fan the flames of this word of mouth phenomenon. Their first proper single ‘Seasons’ comes out all guns blazing, showing a determination to live up to the high standard they’re already set themselves. Big memorable riffs, a driving bass line, wonderfully expressive drums and hooks reminiscent of Catfish and the Bottlemen’s early work… what can I say besides that it’s one of the most accomplished indie tracks of 2018?  It seems a forgone conclusion that The Snuts are Scotland’s next big band, the only question that remains is how big?

Top Tracks: Passenger – Hell Or High Water

If the video of singer/songwriter extraordinaire Mike Rosenberg walking a lonely desert road wasn’t already a dead giveaway, this new track from Passenger breathes new life into his signature folk sound with a hearty dose of Americana. While the backdrop may be barren, ‘Hell Or High Water’ is undoubtedly full of life. Taken from his upcoming album Runaway, out 31st August, the song draws inspiration from the likes of Ryan Adams to craft a hook-heavy break-up ballad with a rich and fleshed out heartland feel. Recalling the inevitable overthinking that follows the end of a relationship, wondering where things went wrong and whether it was avoidable or simply meant to be, this track is up there with Passenger’s best. Offering airy Americana, a soft country twang and a sublime swell of strings, not to mention Mike’s unique vocals and relatable lyricism, ‘Hell Or High Water’ carries a universal appeal and is a welcome companion for one’s own search for answers.

Top Tracks: Alex Francis – Free

After being blown away by his track ‘All I’ve Got‘ last year, the incredible Alex Francis is back. His new single ‘Free’ shows a different, more soulful side to him, as it shares its message about not letting doubts hold you back from living the life you want. The lush instrumentation and flawless production brings this song to a whole other level. The superb bass tone really drives the song forward and the little tripped out R&B flourishes make the track shimmer like heat haze on the horizon on some golden summer’s day. There’s a lot of new elements to be found here, but it stays the same where it really counts. ‘Free’ still boasts Alex’s wonderfully powerful and versatile voice. and the same masterful hooks that you could just sit and listen to for hours. Slick, infectious and effortlessly cool, after this track I almost get the impression that Alex Francis can do no wrong.