Top Tracks: All Faces – Welcome Home

Home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling. A sense of comfort and familiarity, of love and support. Sometimes we’re lucky enough to be born into a place which feels like that, and perhaps take it for granted. Sometimes we have to travel further afield and meet the right people before we truly feel like we belong. And sometimes, like with folk pop duo All Faces, it’s in the very sensation of travelling and exploring that we feel most at home, in never knowing what awaits over the next horizon. Whenever it may strike, you’ll know it when you’ve found it, it’s a wonderful feeling and ‘Welcome Home’ does a superb job of capturing that same carefree joy it brings. With the kind of warm and welcoming hooks you’d expect from The Lumineers or early Ben Howard, this latest single just radiates innocence and positive energy.

Top Tracks: Secret Lynx – Feline

‘Feline’ is the kind of song that doesn’t know what it wants to be. Normally I’d use that in a negative sense, denoting something lost, aimless, wasting potential, but not here. Have you ever met someone so easy-going and adaptable that you could drop them anywhere, set them to any task, and they’d take to it like a duck to water? What we have here is the musical equivalent. It has the well-travelled heartland charm of Tom Petty, the bright indie melodies of The Killers, the carefree come-what-may attitude of 90s alt rock. All of it wrapped up in a dream pop haze and dash of strings for good measure, to make the whole thing shimmer like sunlight dancing on the water. This Californian quartet’s multifaceted marvel could be played pretty much anywhere and still feel right at home.

Top Tracks: Jenny Kern – Slow Burn

A perfectly pensive track for these quiet winter nights, the aptly named ‘Slow Burn’ is just one of those songs that incites introspection. The kind of song that plays in your head as you watch the rain patter on your window, or the flames dancing in the fireplace. It has such a deeply cinematic feel that it can make even the most mundane setting feel like a movie scene. You almost seem to see the world differently with this song playing. Like the big things we all stress about don’t matter anymore, and instead you start to see more meaning in the little things that you wouldn’t normally even notice. Canadian born singer/songwriter Jenny Kern has made one hell of an impression with her debut single. I just want to listen to it on repeat until the world around me turns to dust.

Top Tracks: John Adams – Flames

Welsh singer/songwriter John Adams is the kind of artist that you can’t help but root for. Part of that is down to the fact that he’s worked his way up from busking, his years of hard graft playing a key part in making him the artist he is today. But even without any back story, his new single ‘Flames’ is more than enough to win you over. Taken from his new EP No White Lies out 8th February, this soulful breakup ballad carries that rare universal appeal that most artists can only dream of, thanks in no small part to John having the kind of voice that just melts your heart. The simple but effective video further adds to the song’s charm, showing the threads that unite us getting more and more tangled over time, and in the end leaving us trapped in a web of our own making.

Live Review: Árstíðir, Rebellion Manchester, 25th Jan 2019

arstidir mancGenerally the start of a new year is a time for looking forward, but I thought it would be an equally good time to momentarily look back. Surely there’s no better way to spend my first gig of 2019 than checking out the band behind one of the best releases of 2018. We stumbled across Icelandic indie folk outfit Árstíðir shortly after they released their latest record Nivalis. It impressed us so much that it snuck its way into our end of year list, and also ensured that I would be in attendance for one of their UK dates. Continue reading

Top Tracks: Astralingua – Space Blues

Personally I’ve always found solace in insignificance. Thinking about how we are but a tiny speck in an incomprehensibly large universe always seems to put my own problems into perspective. It’s easy to say that with your feet firmly on the ground, but I can imagine it can feel very different witnessing it all first hand. This new track from introspective folk duo takes a look at the other side of it all. The aptly named ‘Space Blues’ explores the loneliness and isolation of a life in space, and the feeling of looking out at an endless expanse and wondering if there’s any meaning in it all. Not only is a refreshingly unique subject for a song, but the duo have also executed it perfectly. With softly spoken vocals, mournful strings and eerie woodwinds offering a mystical feel, it’s the kind of song that makes the whole world seem to stand still and listen with you.

Interview: Natalie Shay

natalie shay

Photo by Max Giorgeschi

We don’t throw around the term Belwood favourite lightly, and rising star Natalie Shay more than deserves the title. This indie pop singer/songwriter released two brilliant singles last year, and her 2019 is already off to a flying start with her brand new single ‘Yesterday’. Proving a real on-to-watch, we though it was high time we have a chat with her for our first interview of the year. Continue reading