Following Foxes – Self Titled EP

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When an artist or band has a background which involves in part the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford, there is always an intrigue to learn more, partly because the town is a part of our musical heritage too and mostly because of some of the talent which has been nurtured at the ACM. From one of the UK’s most potent and impressive place of musical education, the likes of Newton Faulkner, Guy Davis who was part of the UK’s finest alternative rock antagonists Reuben, Joe Butterworth of Talanas, and Alexis Demetriou who formed the criminally unrecognised rockers Lost In Wonderland, have made varying impacting but potent marks on the British music scene. It is a long list also including members of Lawson and some bloke named Ed Sheeran, successes to which you can now add home town boys Following Foxes.

With its members all meeting at ACM, Following Foxes formed in 2013 and having a strong past year on the live scene now release their self-titled debut EP to nudge a broader attention to their presence. The five track release is a captivating introduction to the quartet, a handful of songs bred in a melodic caress of folk and indie/acoustic rock which energetically and skilfully bring a summery and creatively tenacious proposition to the senses. Drawing in inspirations from bands such as Biffy Clyro, Mumford & Sons, City and Colour, and Pink Floyd, Following Foxes shows themselves to be a thoroughly magnetic proposal and their EP more than likely to pick up wider media attention to back up already eager play on local radio stations across the South East of the UK.

The band’s new single, Almost Lost It is first up and right away with punchy bass lures from Mike Chapman and a great shuffle of beats within a caress of guitar, has ears and imagination paying close attention. The song relaxes soon after to welcome the strong vocals of Gid Sedgwick, his tones as warm and alluring as the melodic venture already shown by his and Alex Hill’s guitars. Subsequently with ears transfixed, another bait of thick beats from Steve Price adds fresh adventure before the song settles into a vibrant stroll loaded with a folkish revelry and melodic

Artwork by Harry Murr @ Roberts Clothing

Artwork by Harry Murr @ Roberts Clothing

swagger. There is still plenty of variety to gait and sound across the song though, sometimes more subtle than in others but a great unpredictable essence which grips the appetite and certain enjoyment.

The following I Saw, You Saw Me Back makes a less dramatic entrance though Sedgwick immediately holds court with his melodic croon and lyrical intimacy. It is still a strongly appealing first touch though which expands into a feisty but composed dance of voice and rhythms within a melodic seduction. As its predecessor, the track soon worms under the skin and into the psyche, a Lennon and McCartney whisper spicing part of the song whilst others times it romps along like a mix of Knots, Common Tongues, and The Radioactive Grandma.

Waiting for Someone, like those before it, simultaneously manages to be a warm reflective hug and a fiery little rocker, the great vocals across the band and occasionally a rigorously driving rhythmic thrust respectively igniting another memorable and increasingly enjoyable offering. It does not quite match up to the first pair such their might, but leaves satisfaction full before making way for Mother Brother. Though you cannot describe any of the songs as aggressive, there is a definite edge to the song when it steps up its energy around harmonically and melodically seductive embraces. It is a compelling end to a fine release; well not exactly an end as there is the brief melodic Outro to come but the party has ended by this point, its atmospheric haunting that drifting away of guests and excitement like after any slice of major fun.

Following Foxes has made a very impressive first step with a release which could straight away set them on a potent journey towards sparking the country’s attention. If not now it is impossible not to think or expect it will happen eventually but seems silly to wait, so go check out this highly pleasing release.

The Following Foxes EP is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/following-foxes-ep1-ep/id964894157

https://www.facebook.com/FollowingFoxes     http://followingfoxes.com/

RingMaster 02/03/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard on Reputation Radio @ http://reputationradio.yooco.org/

 

 

 

 

The Written Years – Self-Titled

 

 Photo by Steven Toews


Photo by Steven Toews

    The Written Years is a Canadian band which we feel confidence in suggesting you will be hearing a great deal of over coming years. The reasoning for that comes with their self-titled debut album, an emotionally and melodically fuelled release which mesmerises ears and potently inspires the imagination. Consisting of eight songs which bring an original blend of post and alternative rock with folk and melodic inspirations, the album is a compelling flight of what the band calls “Winter Music”.

     Hailing from Kelowna and now based in Vancouver the trio of Wade Ouellet (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Kodie Krogh (guitar, vocals), and Kane Enders (drums), The Written Years has built a strong and well-followed presence with their inventive and original sound as well as acclaimed live performances. Casting tales of affection, belonging, loss, and nostalgia, their first release has all the potential and beauty to inspire the same reactions further afield, awakening new hungry appetites across the rest of North America, Europe and beyond. Aided by the talents of numerous guest musicians, the album is a masterful persuasion of open and smouldering temptation; one where resistance is unlikely to make much of an attempt to fight.

    Opening track It’s Not Your Fault emerges from a shadowed yet crystalline ambient mist with jangling sonics teasing ears twycover-largebefore a firmly placed stroll of guitar and keys bred melodies and colour breaks out. It is an immediately magnetic offering, especially as the song expands its evocative suasion to embrace the strong and expressive vocals of Ouellet. Steady punchy rhythms keep a dark edge skirting the warm touch and gait of the song, whilst harmonies fly with charm and energy across the sultry sky of the encounter. It is an infectious introduction with a tinge of the anthemic persistence Doves place in some of their creations.

    From a fly on the wall like studio link, second song I Would Miss My Home If I Knew Where It Was bounces into view with broad rhythmic shoulders and sonic tenderness to the fore. There is a wonderful folk expression to the indie spawned narrative as well as a creative revelry which dances with the imagination and passions. With wonderful additional vocals provided by Julia Huggins alongside those of Murray Ash, the song is a delicious romp with heady edges and darker depths. Already The Written Years show themselves to be unique to most, their sound a fresh mix apart from any other yet discovered but certainly for European readers there is a comparison to Irish band Knots which you could draw to give a sense of the invention at play.

     Homesick Dirge is a slow invasive treat, its title a just description of its sound though the track never reaches into the darkest funereal realm which might be assumed. Pungently emotive keys wrap equally passionate vocals whilst guitar and bass craft a web of intrigue and provocative colour to fill the heavy hearted yet refreshing canvas laid by lyrics and voice. A slower burn on the passions than its predecessors, the track over time is just as potent and challenging, as is the next up The Phone Is Ringing. Apparently the chord progression of the thought caressing song was the first element of the album, its creation six years ago the spark to the album which was completed with its final master in 2013. The track simply croons and lures the emotions from start to finish, every note and syllable drenched in enveloping melancholia.

     An elevated pace and urgency returns with You’re Too Kind, strumming guitars and lurking basslines entrancing ears whilst keys and vocals get to work on the senses. There is a sixties pop energy to the song, and element of sound which dare we say has a touch of Walker Brothers to it. The track is a masterful charge of inventiveness and emotional incitement, mini crescendos and resonating melodies flaming highlights in the outstanding proposition.

    Both Hospital Rooms and Are You Okay? keep satisfaction and full enjoyment high, even if the pair do not quite match the heights already set. The first is another with a punchy gait to its canter, rhythms crisply punctuating flames of melodic poise whilst its successor like most tracks is a weave of intimately touching and evocative feelings, the pair only increasing the greed of ears and passions for band and album.

   The release is closed by The Station, the song a glorious hug of hypnotic rhythms and bass persistence entwined with mesmeric melodies and thought caressing vocals, which reminds a little of Scottish band, Letters. It is an engrossing end to a similarly riveting release. With the bridging studio fiddling between songs the only negative thing on the album, their presence more a distraction which at times disrupts the flow of the release for personal tastes, The Written Years’ debut is just irresistible, an attention enslaving introduction to a band we are destined to be wrapped up in time and time again.

http://www.thewrittenyears.com

http://thewrittenyears.bandcamp.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 19/03/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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