Spotlight!: Lorne

lorneMaybe I just read too much into things, but sometimes you find an artist beyond their years, reflected in their songs. Sometimes you hear a voice that sounds as though it has regaled a thousand stories down the years, sharing words that show the wisdom of one who has an intimate knowledge of the world, and it simply doesn’t match up with the artist in question. With his debut EP Maze, Berkshire born singer/songwriter Lorne sounds as though he’s been releasing music all his life. The striking ‘Bread Alone’ shares a message of seizing the day and living life to the fullest, and feels like a ray of sunlight parting the clouds. The subtle electronics on ‘Cocoon’ supplement the elegant piano beautifully, recalling acts ranging from Benjamin Clementine to Bastille. ‘Oil and Water’ and ‘Navigate’ move closer into pop territory, but still maintain the mature and refined vibe that makes Lorne stand out from the crowd. Drawing inspiration from such artists as Peter Gabriel and Damien Rice, this classically trained pianist combines airy atmospheres and pop sensibilities, with his own elegant and sophisticated artistry.

Fans of Birdy, Five For Fighting, Bon Iver and Tom Odell should check out his debut EP Maze


Top Tracks: Keeva – Whisky

Sometimes it’s the simplest music that says the most, and has the greatest power to move us. The debut single from this half Jordanian, half Irish singer/songwriter thrives on nothing more than the bare essentials. Open and vulnerable, with just her voice and the piano, ‘Whisky’ is an intimate and heartfelt break-up track about Keeva’s move to London and all the difficult decisions and changes that came with it. This soulful little number, which features a co-writing credit from Benjamin Francis Leftwich, manages to sum up a vast swirl of difficult emotions in a raw and straightforward message. With a classic vibe to it, this whisky has been aged to perfection, and carries a timeless feel that speaks to something deep within. Rarely do you find a debut single as strong as this.

Spotlight!: Lightscape

lightscapeContrary to the old adage “don’t judge a book by its cover”, I often find album artworks can make a very important first impression. With even just a passing glance at the cover of their new EP Circles, you can’t help but be drawn to Lightscape’s latest work. An entire world in miniature standing over you, imposing and awe-inspiring, is the perfect metaphor for the music contained within. With fierce riffs, emphatic drum work, and even faint little electronic flourishes, all crowned by Will Overton’s towering melodic vocals, this alt rock quintet from Norwich have crafted an impressive sound. The slow build of ‘By Design’ kicks off the EP in fantastic form, while the anthemic ‘More To Life’ searches for a greater meaning and purpose as it winds its way through some of the record’s heaviest moments. The hard-hitting break-up track ‘Press Rewind’ delivers some passionate vocals, the relatively stripped back slow burner ‘Haven’t Got The Time’ makes a nice change of pace, while the epic ‘Live In Fear’ ends the EP on a high, showing great light and shade and standing out as Lightscape’s best work yet. These lads are on fine form, showing the rest of the country’s alternative scene how it’s done and leaving you wanting more.

Fans of Lonely The Brave, 30 Seconds to Mars and Nothing But Thieves should check out their latest EP Circles out 1st December.

Top Tracks: Janileigh Cohen – Same Old Road

The new single from this Bolton born singer/songwriter is nothing short of timeless. Recalling such classic artists as Joni Mitchell and Carole King, this heartwarming piano led track welcomes you like an old friend. ‘Same Old Road’ sounds like the kind of song that gets passed down like a family heirloom, a song that means so much to you that you long to share it with those who are most important. Janileigh sings with all the warmth and vibrancy of a fading sunset, offering a loving message of reassurance and imparting a sense that everything will be all right. This ‘Same Old Road’ is one that I would gladly stroll down anytime; no destination in mind, content to simply enjoy the journey.

Critic’s Choice: Indientry

indientry.jpgIt’s that time again, where we like to promote some of our favourite fellow blogs and find out some of their current favourite music. This month it’s the turn of the lovely Abby from US blog Indientry, based in Columbus, Ohio. I consider myself well versed in music, but even I feel lost amongst all that’s offered on Indientry. The site is like a lucky dip, even if there’s no names that immediately jump out at you, you can be sure that you can dive in anywhere and expect to find something new and exciting. There are few sites so diverse when it comes to genre. Anything you can imagine, and some things that I doubt I ever could, can be found within. If I’ve caught your interest then here’s a taste of what you can find over at Indientry.  Continue reading

Top Tracks: Royal Street – Say Hello

It’s a tale as old as popular music itself; hearing a song live changes your entire perception of it. There’s some inexplicable magic at work, and suddenly it’s like hearing it again for the first time. Sometimes it can even happen when you’re not even there, simply by watching a live recording you can open your mind to new possibilities. Royal Street’s new live rendition of ‘Say Hello’, from their debut album Flavors, does just that. With plenty of pop appeal, some refined Americana vibes, and their trademark bass tones, this dark horse of a track has really grown on me. Showing a different side to the band, this charming performance really brings out the best of Royal Street, and is sure to delight their fans as well as lure in plenty of new faces.

Top Tracks: big tide – Thirst For The Limelight

Making a great song needn’t be rocket science, sometimes all you need is that one secret ingredient to bring it to life. That’s just the philosophy that has been followed for big tide’s new single ‘Thirst For The Limelight’. With his signature 12-string guitar, Liverpool born songwriter Ben Thomas, under his moniker big tide, has perfected an attention grabbing jangly tone that proves to be delightfully refreshing and engaging. With hints of The Byrds and R.E.M., and more than a little of The Smiths thrown in for good measure, big tide brings classic indie and subtle psychedelica together in this punchy little number. This track may not be the most diverse or the most technical music in the world, but none of that matters when you can so perfectly nail a sound and a vibe like this.

Top Tracks: NADINE – Rise

The new single from this Swiss singer is just as uplifting as its name suggests. ‘Rise’, the title track of her new EP out 23rd November, is a powerful slice of cinematic pop offering an affecting message of hope. From the elegant vulnerability of its intro, it soon builds into something every bit as grand and imposing as the gorgeous church featured in the music video. Carefully crafted and beautifully refined, this track does exactly what singles are supposed to do, but rarely ever achieve. Each single should show all that you are, all that you can be, in what could be your only chance to make the world sit up and take notice. ‘Rise’ does all this and more. There are few songs this year that can pack so much grandeur into just a few short minutes the way that Nadine has done here.