The Pros and Cons of SubmitHub

submithubLove it or hate it, you can’t deny that SubmitHub has already left it’s mark on the music industry in just a few short years. For the uninitiated, the idea is a site that brings together artists and blogs/labels/etc and streamlines the whole submission progress for all parties involved. The artists submit a song for blogs to listen to and provide brief feedback. Sounds simple enough, but is it all it’s cracked up to be? Continue reading

Live Review: Barn on the Farm Festival 2019

IMG_20190704_143638-01 (2)A lot can happen in ten years. People change, trends come and go, and a small gathering of music fans in a wooden barn in Gloucester can become the best festival in the world. After building up a reputation over the past decade for championing new music, breaking down barriers, and being the most warm and welcoming festival family around, Over Farm found itself at the centre of a very special birthday. With Barn on the Farm celebrating it’s tenth anniversary (and Belwood returning for a fifth year), expectations were high that they would pull something special out of the bag. And, in spite of a few big names pulling out last minute, they did all that and more.  Continue reading

Top Tracks: Anatoli Tsampa – Only A Stranger

We’re all strangers to most people. Nothing more than a background character in someone else’s story. But when you find yourself in a new place, exploring a big city, stories can soon intertwine. Strangers meet, fall in love, and eventually part as strangers once more. A chapter of a story shared in the same city, each feeling lost and alone, isn’t enough to sustain a relationship when the differences outweigh the similarities. Sometimes all you can do is be thankful for the part of them you knew, rather than dwell on all the parts shrouded in mystery. As disheartening as this tale of fleeting love seems, Greek singer/songwriter Anatoli Tsampa delivers it so sweetly so as to dull the pain. Her light and genuine vocals offering up the age old adage: “t’is better to have loved and lost…”. The bright piano balladry of ‘Only A Stranger’ quickly wins you over, and you’ll cherish your time knowing it before parting ways.

Top Tracks: Windy Isle – Lonely People

No man is an island. Life seems to become increasingly difficult as society progresses, and we often feel burned out and disillusioned with it all. Though it is easy to shut yourself away from the world, the surest remedy is to open your arms to it, to turn to your friends for help, as chances are they feel much the same way. That’s the message shared by Niclas Edhenholm on this latest single under his Windy Isle moniker. ‘Lonely People’, taken from his forthcoming album White Apartment, further hammers its point home by bringing in other artists from the Stockholm scene to help lift the track to new heights. Paulina Palmgren, Tomas Hellberg and Mira Aasma all contribute verses to show that we’re all walking our own lonely road, so why not walk it together. ‘Lonely People’ carries a timeless feel, like it should have held pride of place on The Beatles’ Abbey Road in another life. It’s deeply honest, keenly human, and a relatable song for the ages.

Spotlight!: Winnie Raeder

winnieMusic is about more than just the notes you play. Sometimes music is as much about the notes that you don’t play. It works in much the same way that it does in film. How a moment of silence can build tension or drama, or draw you in to focus attentively on a specific scene. There have been plenty of great show-stealing vocal performances this year, but none are offered up as confidently as those found on Winnie Raeder’s debut EP From Here. The record plays out like a movie scene, an emotional climax wherein this leading lady bares her soul and ensures that you’re invested in her story.

From Here‘s bare bones arrangements pull off the all too rare feat of making it feel as though the whole world falls still to listen with you. Musically each track forms a simple frame of soft acoustic guitar and delicate piano, at the centre of which lies Winnie’s transcendent vocals. From the soulful pleas of ‘Don’t You Dare’ and the electronic tinged harmonies of ‘Still’, to the powerful chorus of ‘I Wear A Ghost’ and the endlessly heartbreaking ‘Are You Waiting?’ with its calls of “is heaven half as beautiful as you?”. This Danish born singer/songwriter has a one in a million voice. Winnie’s take on heartbreak is as articulate as it is passionate, a true display of an artist pouring their very soul into their work.

Winnie’s debut EP From Here is out now and is perfect for fans of Sampha, Joni Mitchell and the softer side of Jeff Buckley.

Top Tracks: Western States – The Duke

I’ve always found it curious that most of our books, films and TV shows focus on character driven storytelling, but rarely our music. That just makes songs like ‘The Duke’ that manage to pull it off all the more memorable. In telling the tale of a boxer refusing to take a fall in spite of the dodgy deal he’s made, Western States paint a vivid scene with their rich imagery and create a character to empathise with thanks to their adept songwriting. This lead single from their forthcoming debut album From The Centre Out, released 19th July, channels Springsteen in his prime thanks to its lush Americana sound and potent hooks (pun definitely intended). The band clearly pulled no punches when it came to crafting this slice of heartland heaven. A genuine delight in every way.