Lauren Hoffman and The Secret Storm – Family Ghost

lauren-hoffman_RingMasterReview

Often there is nothing more seductive in music than emotional and creative melancholy, a thought wonderfully backed up by Family Ghost, the debut album from Lauren Hoffman & the Secret Storm. Coming from the latest project of songwriter/vocalist/musician Hoffman, no stranger to acclaim through her solo releases, Family Ghost is an imagination stoking dark theatre of word, emotion, and beauty, or as potently suggested by its press release, “A whirl of cabaret, broken ballads, and indie rock, it is a collection of heart-bending narratives that double as emotional exorcism.”

Hoffman’s songwriting was already alive but was further nurtured by Jeff Buckley after she met him backstage while waiting for her father. He became her mentor up until his death in 1997, just one month before she released her debut solo album. Released by Virgin Records, Megiddo was critically acclaimed and subsequently followed by just as evocative and striking encounters. Hoffman assembled the Secret Storm a few years ago with its intimately and personally open Family Ghost built on songs written over a decade ago as well as newer explorations by their creator.

The release opens with Don’t Look Back, a tantalising serenade with wistful melodies and a brush of rhythmic coaxing around the enticing tones of Hoffman. The shadowy groans of cello from Cathy Monnes (of the indie-pop Sally Rose Band) are as potent and persuasive as the imagination of keyboardist Ethan Lipscomb, both bewitching textures in a swiftly riveting encounter. Its thicker crescendos of sound and evocation just reinforce the persuasive majesty of the song while all the time Hoffman’s vocals sublimely capture ears and thoughts.

family-ghost-artwork_RingMasterReviewFrom its gothic, funereal spiced enterprise, the band unveil a lighter gait and atmosphere with second offering Feel It All, though again the darker hues of cello and brooding tones of Jeff Diehm’s bass provide rich drama against the livelier air cast by guitarist Tony Lechmanski (Bella Morte) and Kevin Ardrey’s boisterous beats. Though less pronounced the vaudevillian touch of its predecessor colours the track to captivate before Let The Waves Crash On Me hugs the senses with its country rock/folk lit embrace. Its reflective heart and rich weave is a kiss on the ear, Hoffman a beacon at its core.

Sick With Love radiates in melancholic intimacy and vocal openness next while In The Sun bewitches as it grows in gentle but open intensity and imagination with each passing second. Both tracks easily excite but find themselves outshone by the following I Just Broke Up With A Guy Who Looks Kinda Like You. Carrying a Young Marble Like Giants like minimalistic air and seduction as bass and guitar entangle their descriptive prowess, the irresistible song blossoms into a tenaciously catchy slice of pop ‘n’ roll with spicy melodies and swinging rhythms. Even its magnificence though has to play second fiddle to the album’s title track which seduces straight after. There is drama in every riff, theatre in each ear flirting hook, while rhythms and vocals bring their own creative imagination to the compelling tapestry. Like a siren, the song lures the listener into its busy evocation of spirit and emotion.

Through the noir lit stroll of Fast Lane there is no let-up in the album’s grip on body and appetite. The song is as funky as it is jazzy, as folky as it is poppy; its dark rock ‘n’ roll nurtured croon simply haunting infectiousness. It is majestic in an understated but bold way, a success matched by the similarly catchy saunter of Broken. A thin but rich melody initially courts the magnetic presence and tones of Hoffman as the track offers another slim yet thickly provocative adventure and insight to get seriously caught up in.

The exotic bordering sinister hug of The Dragon comes next, the track a shadowy seductress in air, intent, and voice increasingly infesting and seducing body and psyche from its first provocative breath. There is also volatility in its nature which only adds to its might on the way to taking best track honours.

Family Ghost is concluded by the calm yet emotionally inflamed Til It Lasts, a fine end to a release which is Lauren Hoffman at her most creatively adventurous and open, backed by a band with as much suggestiveness in their sounds as in the singer’s heart bred words. It is darkly magical and sure to be on the favourites lists of a great many.

Family Ghost is out now on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.thesecretstorm.com/   https://www.facebook.com/laurenhoffmanmusic/   https://twitter.com/ShhSecretStorm

Pete RingMaster 07/02/2017

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Andy J Gallagher – Because We Are/Sheena’s Big Night Out

andy-j-gallagher-pic-3_RingMasterReview

It has some major anticipation to live up to thanks to one spectacular appetiser but if Ego the forthcoming album from Andy J Gallagher can match the promise of his new single, a major treat is on the way.  Double A-sided Because We Are/ Sheena’s Big Night Out is simply one irresistible teaser; two tracks which inspires body and spirit alike with their punk infused rock ‘n’ roll and leaves an eager hunger for their upcoming source.

andy-j-gallagher-art_RingMasterReviewIt has been seven years since Gallagher released debut album Helicopter, Dolphin, Submarine, a proposition produced by ex-The Damned member Roman Jugg who upon hearing Gallagher’s new demos at the time insisted on working with him on the album. As lyrically sharp and irresistible as ever and with Jugg again producing Ego, Gallagher enlisted a host of musicians to help bring the 2017 album to life and before it two songs which leap upon the listener with the raw defiance of punk, the anthemic prowess of old school rock ‘n’ roll, and the instinctive insight of folk.

Because We Are accosts ears with rampant rhythms and melodic tenacity from the start, Gallagher’s raw harmonic cries pure bait to match the persuasive virulence of the sounds brewing and erupting around him. Hitting its insatiable stride within a few more seconds, the track romps and stomps like a mix of Glenn Hodge Banned, Ste McCabe, and The Sums, drawing the listener into and enslaving them with its relentless creative revelry.

There is no let up with Sheena’s Big Night Out either, the song less imposing in its energy but as ridiculously catchy and involving physically and vocally. There is a touch of Captain Sensible to it which does no harm while as its companion, lyrically and vocally Gallagher sublimely hooks the imagination and an ever keen appetite for descriptive humour.

Punk, pop, folk punk, rock ‘n’ roll; all are involved in a pair of tracks which ensure that Ego just cannot come soon enough.

Because We Are/ Sheena’s Big Night Out is out now on iTunes and other stores.

http://www.andyjgallagher.com/   https://twitter.com/andyjgallagher

Pete RingMaster 06/12/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Browlin – To The Border!

Browlin_RingMasterReview

Luring ears and imagination into the sultry climate and shadows of the Wild West on a funk infused wave of melodic and lyrical adventure, To The Border! is a highly suggestive and seriously captivating encounter everyone deserves to treat themselves to. Released by Browlin, the album offers up the smouldering melodic artistry of Morricone, the dark honesty of Johnny Cash, and the lyrical conjuring and prowess of Helldorado with the vocal suggestiveness of Rooster Cole for extra spice. The result, something as unique and magnetic as you could wish for.

Browlin is the latest moniker of Oliver Brown who previously was engineer and studio manager at Skint, where he gained Top 40 credits, hit 2m views on YouTube and was part of the incredible success of artists such as Fatboy Slim. With his new project, Brown has moved away from his electronic past to immerse in heartfelt picturesque songwriting embracing indie and funk imagination upon Latin honed rhythms and emotions.  To the Border! is the result of his exploration, an encounter which infests ears and imagination like the dirt and hot atmospheres its song’s premise’s and climates suggest.

The album opens up with Border and an immediate cinematic strum of guitar, it’s coaxing quickly joined by darker tones of bass and those Latin inspired beats. Lone harmonies and the subsequent vocal touch of Brown soon add to the already evocative prowess of the song, its lively canter taking the appetite in tow with little trouble. With keys joining the Mexican hued saga the track makes for a compelling start though it is soon eclipsed by the following Pieces. Brown’s gravelly hum aligns to another single melodic lure to open up the song, his vocals and words swiftly seducing the imagination as the guitar soon after leads into a bass and keys driven slice of melancholic funk ‘n’ roll. Even without electronic essences, there is a touch of The The to the track, even as it induces hips to swing and feet to eagerly shuffle.

art_RingMasterReviewIts success is matched by the earthy majesty of All My Days and in turn the flaming revelling of There’s Always A Way. The first of the pair keenly walks and then bounds through ears, more flirtatious rhythms seizing body and spirit as vocals and melodies paint a brooding yet warmly alluring picture. Virulently catchy with keys and harmonies bordering salacious, the outstanding track is matched in majesty by its successor, a Cajun-esque dance with spicy harmonica and woozy melodies within a climate of moonshine fuelled, and inspired carnival.

The thrills and seduction continue at an already irresistible level as Big Deal romances the senses with its Th’ Legendary Shack Shakers meets Chris Isaak swing next. Once more the harmonica almost burns its way into the passions while a thickly appetising soak of discord invades guitar and tone. It is an off kilter pleasure transforming into the haunting and fiery beauty of All About Us without a breath being shared. The new song slips under the skin within seconds, its repetitive hooks and melodic bait as enslaving as Brown’s vocal craft and expression and in turn the orchestral weight of an increasingly epic encounter.

I Sit Alone allows the body to at least rest next, it’s smouldering entrance with female sighs the canvas for the reflective declaration of Brown. You can almost see him sitting on the front porch of a barren land sitting shack or under the moonlight against a hanging tree as he pours out his heart. It is a dark and maudlin moment which subsequently evolves into a funk nurtured shuffle, rhythms and guitar entangling in a brewing descriptive sound and hopeful suggestiveness taken to new heights by the gorgeous landscape of following instrumental Death In Mexico. The piece is glorious, cinematic melodic poetry Morricone himself would be proud of and a track as intimate as it is visually vast.

To The Border! concludes with firstly Well I Never, another superb swinging incitement for ears and imagination with a whiff of Talking Heads to it and lastly On The Bank, a final fascination of sound, voice, and word bringing the album to a mighty close.

Not really aware of Brown’s previous work as such, all we can say is thank goodness he has ventured into new adventures through Browlin because quite simply To The Border! is an album bringing a new creative emprise to the whole music scene.

To The Border! is out now via Rife Records across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/browlinuk   http://www.browlin.com/  https://twitter.com/BrowlinUK

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A Blue Flame – What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain

A Blue Flame_RingMasterReview

Three years after the release and success of a debut album, A Blue Flame has released successor What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, a collection of songs which musically tug at the imagination and lyrically at the emotions.

A Blue Flame is the solo project of British songwriter Richard Stone, a Leicester based artist who has been stirring attention these past months through a host of suggestively ripe and ear pleasing singles. What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains follows his 2013 cast first album someone else’s dreams will fill our home; an offering released under the name of Woodman Stone. As suggested, it was a proposition which grabbed ears and plaudits alike, its lead song Does Madonna Dream of Ordinary People especially drawing strong support and airplay across the likes of BBC 6Music and BBC Leicester with Tom Robinson calling Stone’s music: “wonderful unashamed pop music that comes with an inbuilt English Pop sensibility running through to its very core“.

Featuring some of Leicester’s best musicians including co-producer Adam Ellis on guitar and Tony Robinson from The Beautiful South on keys and brass, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains is now whipping up even more loud attention. It needs little time to make a potent impression with When Time Slowed Down first up and readily caressing ears. Stone’s sound is a folk scented mix of British flavouring from pop and Brit Pop to a more rock hued proposal. The album’s opener is a gentle folk coloured slice of enterprise, a flavoursome coaxing gently drawing the listener into a release which just grows in strength and stature song by song. Keys and guitar cradle the dusty tones of Stone, a jazzy whisper coating every note and tone of the engaging start.

ablueflame_RingMasterReviewEveryday Yesterday similarly makes a low key entrance though there is a latent sturdiness from its start. With the firm beats of drummer Damon Claridge leading the way as guitar and keys amidst warm harmonies colour the track’s sky, a captivating catchiness descends on ears.  It is a quality ever present in Stone’s songs, making an increasingly vocal present here and in the following The Girl Inside of You. The new single, the track is a rousing slice of melody thick revelry embraced in Brit Pop meets folk rock flavouring. Increasingly addictive with every listen, the song has bodies bouncing and thoughts thickly involved as Stone’s lyrical and vocal prowess works on the imagination. A thumping proposition setting an early peak to the album it is also the spark to a new plateau within What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain.

Next up is Our Memories Fade, a less energetic endeavour initially which grows in energy and emotion as sultry guitars glow across crisp beats. It too has an instinctive infectiousness, an organically appealing swing wrapped in Americana-esque charm while Stone grips attention with his words and inviting vocal style. Its highly pleasing endeavours make way for Be Kind To Yourself, a smouldering ballad which might not have the same spark as its predecessors but simply beguiles with its fifties hued cry.

Earthy punk infused rock ‘n’ roll treats ears next in the shape of the excellent I Don’t Know, another imposingly enjoyable sing-a-long canter with Skids like fuzzy guitar, while the equally compelling Out There Somewhere shares its own piece of rock where again a Stuart Adamson comparison arises as the song has a touch of Big Country to it. Both tracks increase an already eager appetite for the release, a satisfaction which From God on Down feeds with even greater strength. Flirting ears with a twist of reggae inspired devilry and slight dub effect within its formidable rock ‘n’ roll, the track takes top honours.

A Julian Cope feel shades the inescapable magnetism of Marlborough Park Avenue, a scent which only adds to its bewitching prowess and success whilst The Sun Refused To Shine dips into the fifties/early sixties again with its teasing melodies aligned to another potent Stone croon and alluring harmonies. The two songs alone reveal the diversity of sound and invention which frequents the album, a variety continued by the country twanged folk of Feeling The Same and finally Goodbye as What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain goes out with the same poetic gentleness it began with, if with greater melancholy involved.

Enjoyable on the first couple of listens and near on essential thereon in, What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain announces A Blue Flame and Richard Stone as one of Britain’s most compelling propositions and exciting songwriters.

What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remain is out now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/a-blue-flame/id1078425623 and http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ABlueFlame across most online stores.

https://www.facebook.com/ablueflame/

Pete RingMaster 25/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

A Blue Flame – The Girl Inside of You

A Blue Flame_RingMasterReview

Adding to a host of recent singles which hint of potent times for their creators and the releases they are taken from is The Girl Inside of You, the new track from A Blue Flame. Plucked from their latest album What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, the single is a thumping slice of rousing songwriting and a melody thick sound with a Brit Pop meets folk rock flavouring and an encounter very easy to get seriously involved in.

A Blue Flame art_RingMasterReviewA Blue Flame is the project of Leicester based songwriter, Richard Stone and What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains the successor to debut album Someone Else’s Dreams Will Fill Our Home which was released in 2013 under the name of Woodman Stone. With its lead song Does Madonna Dream of Ordinary People gaining strong airplay across the likes of BBC 6Music and BBC Leicester, Tom Robinson was one declaring their support, calling Stone’s music: “wonderful unashamed pop music that comes with an inbuilt English Pop sensibility running through to its very core“. The Girl Inside of You is destined to find the same success and more, with What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains, which features some of Leicester’s best musicians including co-producer Adam Ellis on guitar and Tony Robinson from The Beautiful South on keys and brass, following suit.

The Girl Inside of You strolls in with bold hooks and rhythms aligned to an instant melodic lure. It’s commanding breath relaxes slightly as Stone’s lyrical and vocal prowess works on the imagination but the song’s potency never lessens as creative enterprise and punchy emotion fuelled imagination is added to its web of temptation.

As subsequent smart twists and turns ensure there is nothing predictable about the song, there is something of The Jam in their Setting Sons period spicing to the encounter which as you can imagine does it no harm either. The Girl Inside of You is one of those songs hard to get enough of; one all the while suggesting that a definite look at the album it graces (look out for our review soon) is in order.

The Girl Inside of You is out now with What We’ve Become Is All That Now Remains available 19th August @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/artist/a-blue-flame/id1078425623 and http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/ABlueFlame

https://www.facebook.com/ablueflame/

Pete RingMaster 19/08/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Winter 1982 – Worry

Winter1982_RingMasterReview

Another duo to pay some attention to, among many potent ones around right now is Winter 1982, a British folk/indie pairing from Birmingham who, on the evidence of new single Worry, have the knack of uniting soulful melodies and emotions with ear catching yet haunting adventure.

Made up of vocalist/guitarist Phil Barber and pianist/bassist Luke Phillips, Winter 1982 released the Ghosts EP last year, its presence going some way to luring subsequent support from the likes of Amazing Radio and BBC Introducing. It is Worry now doing the enticing on new ears and spotlights with a suspected similar success awaiting it, such the persuasion of its melancholic yet uplifting character and melodic beauty.

Initially, the keys of Phillips hug the emotive tones of Barber, echoing his melancholic sentiment before guitar and bass bring their more intense flames to the quickly blossoming landscape. Equally swinging beats add new textures and energy too, crafting an instinctive catchiness which becomes a constant presence even in the moments where the song returns to its solemn elegance in tone and gait.

It is a captivating affair and increasingly so with every listen; Worry making a highly persuasive argument for keeping a close ear on Winter 1982, something a great many more will surely be doing from hereon in.

Worry is out now @ http://winter1982.bandcamp.com/track/worry

art_RingMasterReview

https://www.facebook.com/winter1982band

Pete RingMaster 16/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com

Josh Mellor – Same Bed

art_RingMasterReview

Josh Mellor is a young British singer-songwriter bred in Ipswich and now based in London. He is also poised to release debut single, Same Bed, a poetic melodic caress around honest lyrics and heart fuelled vocals making an ear pleasing introduction to an artist with promise on open show.

Establishing his live presence in local Suffolk venues, Mellor moved to London last September, taking “a large portfolio of material” to the capital and quickly hitting its live scene. With over 40 gigs a month, he soon made a mark on the night life there, a success and reputation already being furthered by Same Bed with the single being picked up and supported by the likes of Express FM, Shoreditch Radio, and Croydon FM among others.

As this first single suggests, Mellor’s music has its roots in folk, musically and in the simply but clear portrayal of “emotions and feelings through the eyes of everyday people.” With bassist David Dupuis and drummer Leo Martin alongside, Same Bed and Mellor quickly have ears engaged as melodies float from his guitar as easily as expression with his distinctive vocals. There is an immediate emotive edge to his voice which at times almost defuses its consistency yet only adds to the heart and suggestiveness of word and song.

Against the darker hues of the bass, melodies and harmonies blossom with a spicing of keys being equally involving of the imagination as increasingly energetic beats invite hips to sway to the song’s infectious manner.

The single makes for an enjoyable first listen to Mellor, leaving many clues as to why he has been so successful on the London live scene.

Same Bed is out now @ https://joshmellormusic.bandcamp.com/releases

https://www.facebook.com/joshmellormusic   https://joshmellormusic.com/

Pete RingMaster 13/05/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

For more exploration of the independent and promotional services check out http://www.zykotika.com