Lizzyspit – Trouble Lies Deep

lizzyspit pic

It has never been difficult to be enchanted by the radiant talent of singer/songwriter Lizzyspit and with her new release, the Trouble Lies Deep EP, that artistic tempting has never been stronger. Consisting of four alternative folk/pop songs which touchingly croon to involve the listener’s ears and thoughts, the EP caresses imagination and emotions like a summer evening of reflection. The release comes from the heart for the heart, Lizzy at her most melancholic yet but also at her most potently seductive.

Hailing from London here in the UK and a resident of Sydney, Australia for around the past couple of years, it is fair to say that Lizzyspit has been one big digital success story. Over one and a half million fans have devoured her online performances as well as downloaded her music and hit up her videos. It has pushed her into a deserved brighter spotlight whilst her live shows have only cemented and pushed her stature further, the lady thrilling notable venues in the UK such as The Troubadour London, The Camden Roundhouse, and Manchester’s Lowry Theatre and in her new home, including The Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney. Add places like New York’s famous Bitter End and you see the worldwide presence Lizzy has earned, something her releases and especially Trouble Lies Deep you feel, has and will drive forward. Currently back in England, the name and sound of Lizzyspit will be refreshing lips and ears of her elegant artistry through the new EP and it has to be said she has never sounded better.

The release opens with Once Upon A Time, guitar and vocals an immediate evocation of emotion and sombre reflection; Lizzy, as she is so 1959719_386215978184184_97481912_ngood at, exploring a situation and emotional shadow everyone has embraced or been shaded by. With shuffling beats and percussive coaxing plus delicious additional melodic hues provided by Carlos Adura and Carl Dimatage respectively helping colour the emerging small but rich drama, the song evolves into an understated yet fully magnetic and tonally busy proposition. It is a mesmeric wrap around senses and feelings easily enthusing ears and passions.

Second track All Dressed Up Nowhere To Go builds on the strong start with its sultry melodic endeavour and emotive dance. Unveiling a slightly more urgent energy and poise to its subtle stroll, the track transfixes sonically and lyrically, its warm skies and adventure enriched by the ever expressive voice of Lizzy and sighs of heated melodies which vein the compelling fascination. As in its predecessor, the skittish percussive essences and incisive guitar design adding extra enticement and depth to the voice of the song as it once again enthrals and lights up the imagination.

Goodbye (to the ones who screwed you over), from a tender gentle start which simply strokes ears like a loving partner, lifts its spirit and energy for a lively but controlled canter kissed by evocative strings and impacting rhythms. It never really elevates beyond that stance, merging the loftier gait with the opening tempered presence, but still evolves a lively infectiousness which infests senses through to passions. It is a masterful persuasion which lingers and continues to work its temptation long after its departure, the songwriting of Lizzyspit never lacking potent bait here at its most irresistible yet.

The release is closed by an acoustic version of Gone Gone Gone, voice and guitar at one in a melancholy wrapped narrative of a disappointing lost relationship. For a voice so vibrant from within a smile, going by her promo shots, which is a simple sunspot, the lyrical heart of the EP is surprisingly heavy hearted in sentiment and an investigation which feels it maybe intimate to her as much as the experiences of its listeners.

Lizzyspit is a bright light who just gets stronger and more eloquent musically and lyrically with every release, Trouble Lies Deep her most revelatory and impressive so far.

http://www.facebook.com/lizzyspit

http://www.soundcloud.com/Lizzyspit

8.5/10

RingMaster 01/04/2014

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Imagination bred caresses: an introduction to Jingo

jingo pic

It is always a strong pleasure to be introduced to a band who impress beyond hopes and without warning. Such is the situation with London based band Jingo, a quartet who dances with the passions as they wrap the senses in colour rich melodic embraces and emotive landscapes. Consisting of members originating from both sides of the pond, Jingo creates flames of riveting pop expanses which tenderly or feistily whatever is their want at the time, takes the listener by the hand into vivid emotion packed scenarios sound-tracked by seductive aural tangos.

Jingo is guitarist/vocalist Jack Buckett, his American wife vocalist/keyboardist/guitarist Katie, drummer Joseph Reeves, and newest member Sahil Batra on keys/bass/guitar/vocals. The quartet of musicians have been playing and creating music in bands in Brooklyn, New York and London for many years before coming together as Jingo but once formed they took no time in making their mark, their first gig seeing the band supporting Graham Coxon of Blur in March of this year at a sold out charity night at Mother London. The day of the show also saw the band release their debut single IQ84, followed within a couple of weeks by second track Same Without You and in the same time gap again by third release The Matador, all available as free downloads from their Soundcloud profile. The three distinctly unique and individual tracks show a band which is already skirting the precipice of truly great things with songs which are adventurously and gloriously sculpted, employing equally scintillating textures, imagination, and beauty in their striking presences. It is impossible not to be excited by the band as their sounds coax thought and emotion to play within their descriptive musical narratives and potent lyrical expression, and hungry to hear so much more from the foursome.

Debut track IQ84 instantly has ears and attention rigidly alert and it is no surprise the track has received heavy traffic in its direction. Opening with choppy riffs soaked in pop mischief and reminding of Oingo Boingo in many ways, the song soon soars from its impressive opening stance into a greater temptation through the outstanding vocals of Katie Buckett. Her voice is drenched in captivating lures, a melodic pull which is strong and firm in its hold on the listener whilst making a mesmeric call which initially distracts such her quality. All the time the song is unveiling a wealth of respectful yet eager to impact rhythms and sonic whispers which almost sneak up on the listener, though once into its stride with the drums of Reeves adding more throat to their thumping presence and the guitar toying with a mix of riveting hooks and flames, everything is in the open. The song goes on to further enthral with flumes conveying suggestive atmospheres as the persuasive lyrical and visual craft ado their work with the result an excellent and exciting first taste of the band.jingo 2

    Same Without You was the next song unveiled and stood openly distinct from its predecessor yet seemingly part of its core story. The gentle piano touch of the ear is soon joined by the again strikingly emotive temptress that is Katie’s voice, their melancholic union an irresistible beckoning into the emerging guitar resonance and brooding bass line. All coming together with energy lifting its keen head into a bolder stance, the smouldering burn of the song brews little fires of elegance and classical tones through keys and harmonies whilst rhythms ensure there is a fever constantly waiting to break out, which it does in small climatic expulsions of invention and intrigue across the length of the incendiary seduction. A track which reveals more glorious depths with each encounter whilst leading the passions into inescapable lust, it is a sensational enticement and thrilling dive into fascinating emotive hues.

Their third song The Matador instantly stands proud with a Latin American coaxing from the guitar and mutually sultry vocal cry grabbing the ear before a sultry sway of melodic kisses and narrative casting vocals tread brightly but gently across thoughts. They cannot retain their restraint for long though and soon erupt in a blaze of sizzling heat and sound before repeating the course again with additional harmonies raising the temperature of the ambience enveloping the senses. There is a folk lilt to the Spanish caressed pop rock voice of the track, a blend which lifts the imagination into a cabaña hailing heart and its emotive tale and once more leaves a blissful pleasure in its wake.

Jingo, through just three songs, leave a lasting and inspiring allurement in their wake, an aural taste which the lips of passion can never get enough of. The band has given themselves a strong plateau to build upon with a very potent horizon safely in their own hands and we for one will be impatiently awaiting their next melodic alchemy.

Steam and Download the three singles @ https://soundcloud.com/jingomusic

https://www.facebook.com/jingomusic

Check out the Jake Strunk created video for Same With Out You below as well as upcoming live dates.

Fri 19/07 – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield

Sat 20/07 – IYAF Festival, Kingston, London

Thu 29/08 – Northern monkey, Leeds

Fri 30/08 – The Green Room, Stockton

RingMaster 14/06/2013

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Common Tongues: Solitary Thinker

common tongues pic

    Bewitched and enchanted by their 2011 debut single Jumping Ships, UK indie folksters Common Tongues has kept a candle in the passions vibrantly burning as they unveiled more delicious pop folk majesty through songs which continually smoulder and ignite the passions. Their new single is no exception, the song an emotive caress upon thoughts and emotions which first seduces before leading the listener into a sizzling yet tender melodic romp of contagious energy.

The Brighton band was formed in 2010 by childhood friends Tom Anderson and Oli Hinkins, who grew up together in Cambridge. With a line-up completed by Andrew Stuart-Buttle, Dan Somers, and James Drohan, the band released first two track single Jumping Ships via Something Nothing Records to a strong eager response following it up over the past couple of years with impressive appearances at numerous festivals including Bestival, and the Secret Garden Party, as well as support performances alongside the likes of Beth Jeans Houghton, Michelle Stodart, Juan Zelada, The Miserable Rich, and Alice Gold. Citing influences from the artists such as Yann Tiersen, Villagers, Radiohead and Brian Wilson as inspirations, the band creates sounds which tempt and persuade like sunshine whilst evoking and inspiring like her alluring touch.

Taken from their new April released EP, Solitary Thinker is the perfect teaser, a song which triggers a rich appetite for more ctwhilst igniting flames of pleasure to make the short wait for much more bearable. The song emerges from a brewing breath with acoustic guitar and melancholic violin weaving gently across the senses, their stroke tender yet powerfully suggestive. The feeling of loneliness is accentuated as the vocals add their weight and expression though the music equally offers a little dance of light and hope throughout the emotive heart. Mid-way through the track entertains rhythmic teases which raise and incite the temperature and intent of the song into a feisty launch of energy which sparks further rapture as the building crescendo of expertly crafted sounds and anthemic vocals explodes within the heart.

The song walks the perfect line between emotionally intense and light and whimsical, achieving both without unbalancing the passion or fun of the track. Musically too the track merges more forceful sounds which maybe are a rarity in folk pop with traditional majestic beauty in harmonies, melodies, and expression. It is a glorious song which will ensure an even more focused and maybe impatient anticipation for the upcoming EP.

www.commontongues.co.uk

www.facebook.com/commontongues

8.5/10

RingMaster 23/02/2013

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Elle Rayenne: Rayguns EP

Elle Rayenne

Luan Tian Photography – http://www.luantian.co.uk/

Having heard some good whispers about UK band Elle Rayenne and their blend of indie pop, there was a degree of expectation from their new EP Rayguns but certainly not of just how potent and sensational it would be. The four track release is a mesmeric splendour, an EP which from first note to last not only captures the imagination but immerses it and the senses in a golden blaze of melodic radiance and creative bliss.

The band from Broadstairs was formed in early 2012 by vocalists Jericho Tozer and Clare Ashton-Cobb. They soon released their debut single Celestial Navigation under the C3U record label using local band Fish Tank for the track. In May of the same year, the pair formed their own band from musicians around Kent, bringing in guitarist Dan Smith, bassist Thom Bennett, and James Davies on drums before working on new tunes and playing live. Their sound as mentioned is a vibrant and warm glaze of indie pop but to that there is a flush of folk rock and acoustic pop which brings an extra spice to thrill the appetites of ears and emotions. It makes for a quite delicious treat, a pleasure which is as infectious as it is richly rewarding.

The release opens with De-construction and a gentle breeze of guitar caresses and warm sonic kisses whilst Tozer avails the song coverwith his expressive tones. The bass of Bennett rumbles beneath with a smouldering stance moving into a resonating stroll as the song opens up its heated arms of melodic and persuasive elegance. Ashton-Cobb then steps forward with her equally impressive voice to torch beautifully across the now energetic and compelling skies of the song. It is a track which is gently anthemic with a charged heart enriched with sizzling vocal harmonies and fiery dazzling beauty. Both singers are strikingly impressive and combine for an even greater fire to which the song musically dances alongside with an irresistible hunger. There is an element of The Sundays to the song, both bands able to mesmerise with aural beauty which impacts like a flame.

The title track opens with a mischievous smile on its face, the twin vocals grinning in harmony with a folk pop tease before expanding into a contagious summer of heated melodies and sultry passion. Like the first the song is impossibly catchy and instigates passions and voice to its emotive cause. With the guitars of Tozer and Smith again raising delicious sparks and the rhythms of Bennett and Davies an unashamed invitation to party, the song lifts the spirits and raises an inner smile which refuses to die away. As this and its successor plays on the ear, thoughts slip to eighties indie band Jim Jimenee, another band where instinctive folk and pop meshes were infectiously rife.

Absent is an initially gentler invite, a smoky guitar intro with framing sinewy drums accompanied by again openly meaningful tones from Tozer bringing one into the heart of the song, a centre which soon ignites a swagger and feistiness leading to another epidemic of emphatic force and grandeur. It is part pop rock and part indie folk wrapped in a pop sheen which lights a beacon of pleasure.

Final song Under The Thumb like the others makes an impact from its very first breath, inciting drums and their big rhythms waking up further intrigue whilst the guitars simmer with sonic lures and the two vocalists weave their bewitching magic to leave one basking in their lush presence. Though arguably the track is less virulent for the passions, it majestically strolls across the ear with disarming craft and a winning sun to leave a big grin on the emotions.

The Rayguns EP is a cracking piece of songwriting and melodic realisation, a gorgeous release which is sure to make Elle Rayenne a quintet on the lips of a rapidly growing legion of delirious fans.

Rayguns EP is downloadable for FREE! @ http://ellerayenne.bandcamp.com/

https://www.facebook.com/ElleRayenne

8.5/10

RingMaster 16/02/2013

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Julie Hawk: Self Titled EP

   Julie Hawk

    Enchanting, haunting, and dynamic the voice of Irish singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Julie Hawk is quite sensational, a deliciously unique and compelling persuasion. Perpetually expressive and bewitching Hawk has a vocal style which lights up the air with imagination and inventive enterprise to leave one magnetised and often sighing with enjoyment. Hawk is also an accomplished musician which as shown by her self-titled EP, makes for a combination as fresh as any summer sunrise and as golden as the most potent seductive sunset.

Consisting of six songs, the release is a sensational breath of smouldering elegance and riveting songwriting from an artist who is sparking ardour driven acclaim across the London unsigned scene. At five years old the West of Ireland singer took up the piano moving onto the fiddle and later the guitar whilst developing her own special style by singing in as many styles as she could mimic. She is also an artist who is obviously unafraid to investigate, draw upon, and use the ripest essences of a vast array of influences sought and come across, such as 21st century choral composer Eric Whitacre who is known for his ‘mystifying chords’. This diversity gained and evolved soaks her innovative sounds vocally and musically at every turn and is openly apparent on her new release.

Since emerging after ‘one cloistered winter’ in 2011 where she honed her distinct ability and style, Hawk has captured the imagination of a growing passionate fan base, her tremendous innovative sound like a pied piper for a great and growing many. Recent months has seen her supporting singer-songwriter, Benjamin Francis Leftwich and Michele Stodart of The Magic Numbers as well as making her festival debut at Hop Farm. It will one suspects, be her EP which will send her into the hearts of the widest acclaim and recognition and with its thrilling contents a result  wholly deserved.

The release opens with the sultry folk pop caress of The Value Of Gold the lead track from the EP. Accompanied on the song and across the release by Matthew Harris (bass, guitar, piano, and percussion), the track is an immediate kiss upon the ear from within an elevated heart borne energy. The guitar teases of Hawk gentle coax the emotions as they tenderly wrap around the ear whilst the more shadowed bass and emotive breath completes a fully rounded companionship for the senses. Lyrically as throughout the EP, Hawk finds seeds in contrasts/contradictions like life/decay and light/ dark bringing them impressively to bear on the listener but it is her irresistible vocals which ensure they leave the deepest touch.

It is a richly engaging start equalled by the magnificent Maps, a song which dances on the ear with grace and warmth whilst offering a riveting emotive puissance. There is a slight familiarity to the song, though for no apparent reason, which adds to the enthrallment whilst again the soaring voice of Hawk leaves one basking in glorious originality and aural temptation. Comparisons to artists such as Kate Bush and Joanna Newsom are often laid upon the singer and both are valid as are many others which spring to mind whilst the treats keep coming on the EP, yet they are all whispers in the uniqueness which is all Hawk.

Age In Years dances with the heart next to open up further avenues of infatuation for its infectious swagger and pop grooved heart. It is a wonderful piece of writing and realisation which becomes the deepest love affair between passion and release. The lush amour for the ear enhanced by its teasing guitar lures is continued as the release moves into the slower enveloping fascinations of The West and Cinders. Both are delightful instigators of heated tingles through their showers of aural raindrops and tantalising gaits, the first an entrancing weave of melodic mastery, wistful harmonies, and vocal wonder and the second a slowly winding emotive inducement for thought and heart.

Closing with an engaging cover of This Charming Man, the EP is a stunning pleasure which it is almost impossible to tear away from. The Smiths song is a well done extra sweet to devour though it does not quite live up to the triumphs elsewhere on the release. Julie Hawk maybe the big breeze inside London right now but with this EP one confidently predicts the country will soon also be under her spell.

http://juliehawkmusic.com

8/10

RingMaster 11/02/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The Robbie Boyd Band – Spring Generation EP

The Robbie Boyd Band has followed up the success of their acclaimed debut EP with another release to spark emotions and pleasure the heart. The Spring Generation EP continues the feel good “funky folk” sounds of the band through four more impressive and easily enjoyable slices of melodic pop/folk creativity. It is a release which inspires warmth within the heart, it makes no demands but simply ignites the heightened rush of pleasure the band tries and succeeds in instilling through their music.

The previous Autumn’s Flown EP brought plenty of enthused attention upon the band though there was a brewing loud whisper about them before even it was unveiled through the first single I Won’t Let You Go. Subsequent singles from the EP only enhanced their presence which Spring Generation can only elevate further. Interest from the likes of Graham Norton, Paul O’Grady, Dave Gorman across the airwaves went alongside successful support slots with bands such as The Kooks, Delays, and Johnny Flynn, again their shows swelling positive and enthused responses, as did their ventures into Europe and many festival performances.

The first single from Spring Generation, When I Believe was released at the end of August and immediately triggered a keen anticipation which the new release easily satisfies. Arguably the single which sets off the EP is the least impressive of the songs on offer though by that we mean a keen and lively summer breeze upon the senses. Openly catchy with great harmonies and stirring keys from Adam Fletcher alongside the expressive and distinctive vocals of Boyd, the song strolls with confidence and charm to certainly captivate the imagination even if it only sparked inside rather than lit fires. It is an enjoyable piece of folk pop which the rest of the release simply steps on from.

The title track is a true treasure, a track which highlights why Boyd and the band is garnering such praise. It starts off gently with just guitar and voice, a folk kiss upon the ear but it is not long before the song begins its hypnotic hold with the beats of Huw Beynon a living pulse within the song. Into its stride with the violin of Mared Evans and the mandolin of Russel Smith leaving blazes of melodic elegance across the warm skies of the song, it unveils an anthemic like energy and heart which is irresistible. The vocal combination is superb around Boyd, the harmonies across the whole band a sizzling texture within the equally invigorating sound and the perfect companion and foil to the tones of Boyd. It is by far the best song on the EP and possibly the best to date from the band.

The Lead is a lean, vibrant, and magnetic acoustic song, the guitars of Boyd and Smith alongside the percussion teases of Mike Newman and emotive bass of Simon Fitzpatrick, a heated yet soothing rub. There is a sure Simon and Garfunkel breath to the song whilst the closer Unlock The Key is a gentle caress with Boyd and guitar a heartfelt cell of emotion shining within the gentle acoustic light of sound.

Spring Generation is a treat of well crafted melodies and pop soaked hooks but also intelligent and mature songwriting. It gives all the proof to why there is such a buzz surrounding The Robbie Boyd Band and a defined step in their evolution to an even greater presence in British music.

http://www.robbie-boyd.com/

RingMaster 12/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Dylan Mondegreen – Self Titled

Photo: Julie Pike

Thoroughly enchanting the new album from Dylan Mondegreen is a mesmeric gem of a release, a warm breeze over the senses and a sensuous piece of emotive elegance. The self titled release offers a collection of songs which are as reflective as they are wonderfully tender and atmospherically hazy. Like a summers dawn or evening sunset the album is a gently caressing treat to bask within.

Dylan Mondegreen (Mondegreen meaning misheard lyrics and Dylan referring to the legend himself) is the pseudonym of Norwegian singer songwriter Børge Sildnes, who has been creating his indie pop sounds since the mid-2000s. The new album is his third but the first to be released in the UK and continues his impressive releases of expertly crafted folk and rock/pop. It follows his debut While I Walk You Home of 2007 and The World Spins On two years later. Co-produced with Ian Catt (Saint Etienne, The Field Mice) the new release is an open yet subtle blend of aural whispers and heart borne beauty brought with sophisticated breath and organic textures.

Castaway wraps itself around the ear first with emotive strings and balmy ambience as the mellow tones of Sildnes stroke with soft and expressive emotion. The song is an instant draw which soaks the senses like compassionate waves to captivate from first note to last. It is an enveloping pleasure to start the album off though subsequent songs prove to be even more impressive.

The album is certainly a personal release with songs like Life As A Father shining in craft and passion. It is impossible not to be touched by the track or induced into a personal piece of reflective thinking. Not for the first time on the release the wonderfully sensual vocals of Maria Due add graceful flourishes to a song to light more simmering fires within.

As songs like The Heart Is A Muscle, the superb It Takes Two with its summery presence and steel drum incitement, and the irresistible You Make It Easy with its infectious heart and jangly pop energy, jump all over the ear with keen intent but a soothing touch it is impossible not to drift into a world of sunshine coaxed solitude of thought and feelings.

Different emotions touch the senses across the album with a delicate embracing across the songs through intelligent and expressive lyrics, their delivery, and the accomplished sounds which hold them. It is so easy to sink into the enveloping moods brought by the release, especially the sounds of the string ensemble, with the melancholic and dreamy sounds they conjure a grand beauty and a perfect companion to the dream pop flavours alongside, the combined union making for a rich orchestral landscape to explore and immerse within.

Dylan Mondegreen the album, is a delicious pleasure of bewitching passion pop to take one into serene realms and sparkling emotional experiences dark and light which all have experienced, whilst the artist himself is the one who holds the musical keys to make it all happen.

http://www.dylanmondegreen.com/

RingMaster 07/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Louise Latham: Reclaimed

The majority of artists whichever medium they immerse within find their full potency from the darker hues and shadows of life, the strongest emotions and instigators of ideas being those from the most extreme intrusions of happiness. Welsh singer songwriter Louise Latham is no different and with her excellent new album Reclaimed has brought forth songs which are borne from the fires of lost and shattered relationships as well as other full shadows. Whether the songs are personally driven or from close contact to the experiences of others there is a passion and breath permeating the album which is heart given not just a simple portrayal. The album though is not a heavy and morose feast but an evolving fusion of light and dark.

Cardiff girl Latham lived and slept the album during its creation. Her promo for the release stating in her own words “I slept next to the Telefunken analogue machine in the studio for the entire two-month period,” and further went on to say “It was quite a magical time, feeling surrounded day and night by the recording process, which for me is a creative process as involved and fulfilling as writing.” The attention spent on the release which she recorded with producer Arno Guveau in his home studio built specifically for the project, is evident in every note musically and vocally as well as the individual emotive atmospheres combining for an overall one of stirring passion and deep reflection.

Though the majestic folk pop sounds of Latham are not those to generally ignite the sparks of burning fires within this heart there was no denying the power and grace of the songwriting and its realisation. It took time but there has emerged a sure connection which will draw one back even after this review is completed even if only to particular songs. The most irresistible thing on the album apart from the songs and the voice of Latham herself was the wonderful use of strings throughout. Never adverse to the seductive haunting caresses of a cello or the inciteful plaintive teases of a violin let alone the instinctive yearning of the double bass, the songs held a mesmeric kiss upon the ear and with the also excellent piano play of Latham each song is a treat for the ear and heart.

I cannot claim each song found an eventual sure home because of simply personal taste but there was never a moment when the album did not have the fullest eager attention and though some tracks may not have left the firmest invitation to return as did others, each beautifully crafted and presented track was a delightful warm collusion of artist and recipient.

Many songs did light up beyond the ear especially the opening Saint. The song is a wonderful expressive admission of the heart, its hypnotic beats and stirring strings creating an impassioned air behind the outstanding touching vocals of Latham. Her voice is powerful and dramatic without losing or deflecting from the heart of the song. She has the perfect balance of insisting on attention without demanding it allowing her dark and often shadowed impressive lyrical composing to reach and touch every thought.

Further tracks like the magical Old Soul a song as haunting as it is emotive, Erase Me a folk rock track to enchant and excite all, and the exceptional Young Boy, only bring strong pleasure. The last pair of this trio reminds a little of Fleetwood Mac, or more Latham does of Stevie Nicks in her irresistible delivery and makes for nothing but pleasure in their company.

With Gilded Bird expansive in sound and emotion and the elegant closing title track seeing out Reclaimed wonderfully, this is an album which will thrill and wake up the emotions of all singer songwriter/folk hearts. For others like us with differently seeded tastes there is still a wealth of near perfect enjoyment to make Louise Latham and Reclaimed worth a sure and prolonged moment of our time.

RingMaster 22/06/2012

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Makar: Funeral Genius

Guitar and piano led the new album from US band Makar (pronounced Mah-Kar) is a release which soon forms a strong engagement with the ear treating it to an open weave of thoughtful melodic imagination and easily pleasing pop sounds. Ranging from indie rock to folk pop with slithers of quirky invention, Funeral Genius makes an endearing and intriguing piece of pleasure to spend time with.

Formed 2002-03, Makar consists of New Jersey girl Andrea DeAngelis (vocalist/guitarist) and New Yorker Mark Purnell (vocals/ piano). With shows at the likes of Luna Lounge, CBGBs gallery, Knitting Factory and Pianos under their belt the pair wrote and released their eighteen song strong debut album 99 Cent Dreams in 2005. Three years in the making it won immediate and lingering acclaim across radio stations, media, and the public. 2008 saw the duo begin work on Funeral Genius another three year project, and upon its recent release the band again started being soaked in full and eager enthusiasm for its sounds which now having heard it is understandable. With the addition of Mark Nilges and drummer Dawn McGrath on the album Makar quite simply light up the air with twelve excitable songs which even if indie pop is not your preferred aural medium cannot fail to leave a warm smile inside.

The title track opens up the release with an instant sunny disposition despite the theme of the personal negativity some

Andrea DeAngelis

people carry through every day. There is a underlying eighties feel to the song and the album as a whole in that it reminds of The Passions a little but more of a more restrained but no less fun Martha and the Muffins. With a melodic eagerness and the enchanting vocals of DeAngelis playing around the great bass and the striding piano, the song is a very welcoming start to the album.

The following I Wanna Know What I Don’t Know and Belong Here continue the fun and inviting beginning. The first is a resourceful mix of indie rock and bouncing show piano with a seventies vocal flavouring, like an amalgamation of Throwing Muses and The Sundays with Middle Of The Road. It captures the imagination from the start with a familiarity and open inducement to join in and though it is not as eager as its predecessor it leaves one more than satisfied. The second of the pair continues the fine blend of piano and guitar topped by excellent the angelic vocals of DeAngelis all firmly and skilfully veined by the bass of Nilges and beats of McGrath.

Tracks like Bottle of Beauty mixes things up nicely on the release with Purnell taking the vocal lead whilst I Can’t Tell You To Stay offers a compelling bluesy groove to its flow though Nilges is the star on this particular track. The song twists and turns continually throughout to make for one of the more unpredictable and delightfully thrilling songs on the release.

Mark Purnell

There are a couple of moments where the album misses the mark though it is more down to personal preference to be fair, but In The Know  with its limited breath and banshee harmonic shrieks left more puzzlement than joy whilst the closing lo-fi raw recording of Devil In A Dream seemed like a track too far for these ears. With intelligent and compelling songs like America Where Are You and Show Me That Look In Your Eyes making up the album personal tastes make a small impact of the pleasure gained from Funeral Genius.

Though not destined to be a consistent player here it is impossible not to be impressed and fully gratified with the quality songwriting, exciting melodies, and some of the best indie pop tunes heard this year. Makar have an open invitation for all to join their party with Funeral Genius it is just up to you to go an enjoy.

www.makarmusic.com

Ringmaster 13/06/2012

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