Top Tracks: Kail Baxley – These Arms Are Open

Some styles come and go, while others seem like they could last forever. As much as the new single from Kail Baxley draws from 60s soul, it never for a second feels dated. If it ain’t broke don’t fix it, and soul has always had a power to connect with people and capture emotion. ‘These Arms Are Open’ makes use of this warm and welcoming atmosphere to bolster the track’s message of reassurance and comfort. Kail’s fantastic vocals, reminiscent of Ray LaMontagne, stand out as this song’s secret weapon. Treading the line between honest earthy grit and silky smooth soul, his voice feels like home. Like watching the last rays of the setting sun through the window, or listening to the logs crackle in the fireplace, there’s something so pure and grounded about Kail’s vocals that makes you feel safe and fittingly enough welcomes you with open arms.

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Top Tracks: The Bergamot – L.A.

I’ve lost count of how many press releases I’ve read that tell a tale of artists leaving home and heading to L.A. to find themselves. The fact that I’m hearing from them, that they are making music and sharing it with the world, makes them the lucky ones. What about all the artists that risk it all in pursuit of a dream, and find themselves no closer to it. Think too of all the budding actors, or folks starting new business ventures, or those just hoping to find any sort of meaning or purpose. All drawn in by the allure of the city of angels only to find it doesn’t hold all the answers.

The new single from husband and wife duo The Bergamot is in many ways a song about being strong enough to admit defeat and walk away. The heavy thud of the drums and the atmospheric reverb remind me of how in times of deep sorrow you feel numb to the world. You’re so lost in your thoughts that it sounds like a barrier blocking out everything around you. At the same time, within the bittersweet harmonies and gentle guitar, you find glimmers of hope. ‘L.A’ doesn’t mourn the end of a story, it is merely mourning the end of an important chapter. It’s a song to give you the strength to let go of broken dreams and turn instead to see what awaits upon a new horizon.

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.