Spotlight!: Kitty Perrin

It feels like far too long since I’ve wholeheartedly promoted a new artist and sung their praises to the world – you know, the whole reason this blog exists in the first place. For whatever reason it’s become harder to find new music that excites me. So much out there just feels too familiar; scores of talented artists drawing from the same inspirations and chasing the same trends only to inevitably arrive at much the same destination. It’s hard for an act to stand out from the crowd, and even harder for me to put a finger on a way for them to do so. After all, it would be too much to reasonably expect every act to continually put out something new and unique, right? But in listening to the debut EP from Kitty Perrin, the answer suddenly reveals itself. Each of us is already unique; we all face our own trials and triumphs, viewed through our own perspective. Every artist has a story, one only they can tell, but it’s only those special few like Kitty Perrin that manage to so resoundingly imprint their identity into their work. Continue reading

Live Review: The Dear Hunter, Night and Day Cafe Manchester & The Bodega Nottingham, 5th/9th May 2022

Well here’s a Belwood first for you: a live review double feature! There are plenty of bands and artists which I will happily see time and again, tour after tour, but until now I can’t recall every seeing someone twice on the same tour. I feel like there’s a line there, crossing a threshold from casual fan into something deeper. As much as I may admire and envy the old hippie Deadhead lifestyle of following a band on tour in a VW camper, it requires a level of devotion that I (and indeed most people) would struggle to muster for just one special band.

While I’m not at the point of following them around the country in a campervan (those things are expensive!), The Dear Hunter are definitely the band that comes closest. Their five Act concept album series is one of the most compelling musical rabbit holes I’ve ever dived down, and the one I most wish I could forget for the purpose of hearing it for the first time all over again. So, after waiting what felt like forever for one of my all time favourite bands to make it back to the UK, I knew just one gig wouldn’t be enough. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Étáin – At Least One

If the loneliness of lockdown taught us anything, it’s that while absence may make the heart grow fonder, that does nothing to dull the pain of being apart from the ones we love. There’s a special kind of sanctuary that comes from just being present in the moment with someone you love, and knowing someone you care about is struggling and yet being unable to hold them close is an awful burden to carry. For most of us life is now returning to normal, but for those trying to keep love alive in a long distance relationship that is normal. ‘At Least One’, the debut single from Irish singer/songwriter Étáin, details the intense longing to be there for the other person when times get tough, in ways you know you can’t, as well as the determination to keep love burning in spite of it all. Étáin’s wistful folk arrangement and ethereal, bittersweet vocals host a haunting warmth that feels like the last vestiges of sunlight clinging on to the world as the inevitability of sunset looms. While so much of what we cherish feels fleeting, here is a dreamy moment of comfort to share and revisit time and again.

Top Tracks: Deathcruiser – Life Number Two

It’s never too late to turn your life around. To take an honest look at your past mistakes, destructive habits and obstructive mindset, and decide that it’s time to leave that version of yourself behind and start anew. That’s not to say it’s an easy task, it takes an immense amount of reflection, determination, patience and ultimately forgiveness, but no one is so far gone that they can’t become a better version of themselves, so long as the will to change is there. And it’s that push for a clean slate that we find so aptly captured in ‘Life Number Two’. This debut single from Deathcruiser, the new project from Grizfolk’s Adam Roth, is a gorgeous slice of Americana that celebrates the strength and goodwill inherent in the human spirit. Awash with warmth and romanticism, rather than erase the old self and reduce it to ashes, it is a song that offers encouragement and a helping hand to waltz your way into a better state of being. As both a soundtrack to the new you, and as a first taste of a forthcoming EP, it’s one deeply charming new beginning.

Top Tracks: Electric Candlelight – Don’t Turn

Everyone always seems to be pushing for something new, to make progress for progress’ sake, but I feel like folks are often too quick to overlook the tried and tested. In the world of fashion for instance, trends change and looks fall out of favour but eventually circle back around into fashion. And yet, no matter what the current buzz is about, certain styles (even those tied to a particular place and time) done well will always dazzle a crowd. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it; quality always shines through. The same is true of music, and with their latest single ‘Don’t Turn’ Philadelphia based band Electric Candlelight deliver a rollicking rock’n’roller from days gone by, exquisitely crafted to get your blood pumping and put a smile on your face. With gritty vocals reminiscent of Creedence Clearwater Revival, groovy feel-good riffs with a mountain of momentum, and brilliant character driven lyrics detailing a mobster trying and failing to make an honest living, Electric Candlelight dress to impress with a song that will never go out of style.

Live Review: Gang of Youths, Leeds Beckett, 8th March 2022

Have we mentioned how great it feels to have live music back? Because my god does it feel magnificent to be going to gigs again! However, I have to admit, it took a couple of them before I could ease back into familiarity. After nearly two years without live music, and lingering doubts and fears from the pandemic still hanging on, those first few gigs felt like tentative baby steps back into normality. This was the first gig back where I felt at home again, where I felt the spark that had been absent for so long. Like reconnecting with an old friend you haven’t seen in ages; you work through the awkward catch-ups until eventually it feels like no time has passed at all. It’s a gig that felt truly special and will stay with me for a long time to come. Continue reading