Lara Smiles – All For You

There are times when you can only expect plaudits and ears to come chasing an encounter and one such moment is surely to surround the release of the debut album from British singer songwriter Lara Smiles. A truly magnetic festival of resourceful sounds and lively imagination, All For You is as rich in its variety and enterprise as it is determined in its aim to get the body bouncing and involved in inhibition losing fun. It is a treat of an introduction which just seems to get more impressive and manipulative by the listen.

With music never far from her ears and passion since a young child, seeds laid by the sounds her parents were playing, Lara has grown to embrace a host of styles and flavours which has nurtured the variety and diversity in her own writing and music. Among a host of major inspirations, the likes of Tina Turner, The Beatles, Paul Simon, Queen, Prodigy, The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, Beth Ditto, Green Day and Middle Eastern music heavily feature yet as her first full-length reveals, they have only gone to spark her own musical individuality. Since emerging she has also become a praise drawing presence on the UK live scene supporting the likes of Pete Doherty and playing some of the biggest festivals, including Glastonbury four times, the Isle of Wight Festival, and The Great Escape as well as also finding herself collaborating with The Orb, guesting on the new Shed Seven album, Instant Pleasures, and singing with The Australian Pink Floyd Show for the past eight years.

Mixed by Jamie Grashion and legendary producers Michael Rendall and Martin Glover aka Youth (Primal Scream, The Orb, Pink Floyd), her self-produced debut album is poised to thrust Lara into the limelight in her own rights. That is our expectations here and every venture through All For You only cements our thoughts.

© Hannah Smiles

Breeding a boisterous and tenacious, often ferocious blend of alternative rock and contagion loaded pop with a just as eager appetite for punk, electro and industrial rock with plenty more besides, the album opens up with the swiftly and increasingly magnetic Coincidence. A spiral of electronic enticement entangles ears first as crisp beats pounce, their combined lure soon reinforced by the hungry riffs of Lara’s guitar. Instantly intrigue and drama lines every emerging tendril turning, it evolving crystalline glamour and beauty as the song breaks into a melodic stroll alongside the seductive tones of Lara. The mercurial edge to the track though continues as its writhes around like a creative dervish, tantalising and fascinating at every turn whilst getting the release off to a tremendous start.

It is an overall inescapable enticement which continues through the following Save Yourself. Bubbling electronics and boisterous guitar align to the darker stroll of Joe Singfield’s bass as the rustle of Sara Leigh’s beats tease before leading the song in its own individual canter. In turn there is a devious urgency and aggressiveness which breaks out as the chorus escapes a calmer build up though that too has a dramatic edge which just sparks the imagination as potently as ears. Lara’s vocals have rich variety which relish her imagination and the equally diverse tapestry of sounds she ventures forth across this track alone it emerging as a compelling slice of punk lined pop ‘n’ roll.

The album’s title track comes next, bounding in on an irresistible incitement of a bassline which continues to manipulate as vocals and melodies dance. Ridiculously infectious and persuasive to hips and vocal chords, the track simply seduced compliance and participation whilst igniting an already firmly placed appetite for the release before Dictate Peace explores a whole new landscape of Eastern spiced teasing and imagination. Its summery stroll and breeze radiates captivation but also the darker shadows and strains of drama which impose their intrigue throughout; it all adding to a riveting invention which sees the listener taken through a web of creative espionage.

And It Hurts follows with its initial gentle elegant charms to the fore. They continue to entice as the fire in the heart and belly of the song smoulders and ignites note by note. With its blaze increased, energy erupts but so too another striking collusion of textures and flavours with the track continuing the great unpredictability of its predecessors and their instinctive contagion.

The folkish grace and melodic beauty of Oh How is pretty much aural intoxication straight after, Lara’s voice intimation carrying seduction and radiance while Disconnected provides a controlled but virulent contagion of pop rock with a compelling blend of spikiness and winning grins to its stomp. In turn, Zombie preys on the senses and body with its emotive irritability and electro funk catchiness. Like all tracks, it soon reveals its individually inventive escapade of unexpected twists which only accelerate its slavery of ears and involvement.

Penultimate song, The Fightings Over, needs mere seconds to have everything robustly involved in its punk ‘n’ rock bred bounce as thoughts align to its lyrical exploration, a tempestuousness in its air and attitude only adding to the incendiary theatre perfectly setting up the contrasting mellow and glowing yet melancholic repose of final track, Turn It Around. The individuality of this pair alone songs epitomises the variety thick All For You as a whole and of Lara’s songwriting which seems so effortlessly to cast real diversity and adventure.

There have been a few releases which have truly inspired and aroused us here this year, a couple this month alone and All For You sits boldly alongside giving real undiluted pleasure. Whether it sees Lara Smiles a household name we will see but it will surely establish her as one of our most exciting and unique talents.

All For You is released September 7th via iTunes and other stores with its album launch show @ the Sebright Arms, London August 30th.

http://www.larasmiles.com/   https://www.facebook.com/larasmilesmusic/   https://twitter.com/LaraSmilesMusic

Pete RingMaster24/08/2018

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Alfred Hall – Safe & Sound EP

Alfred-Hall-Image _RingMasterReview

Fuelled with the qualities to be a warm and captivating soundtrack fit for basking in the mesmeric summer sun to, Norwegian duo Alfred Hall release their new EP Safe & Sound, the band’s first offering to the UK market. The band and their absorbing sounds will be no strangers to other European regions but now it is time for British awareness to be stoked up, with easy to expect success in tow.

The band consists of Hans Thomas and Bjørn Tveit, childhood friends since the age of 10 who decided to form a band in the summer of 2009 while working as farmhands on Thomas’ family’s farm. Within three years, the pair had stirred up national attention and appetites for their fascinating sound, debut single So Bright finding strong success on national and international radio. 2013 saw the Norwegian release of first album Wilderness, a proposition finding itself nominated for Best Pop Album at the Norwegian Grammys. With its title track gracing the worldwide Netflix trailer for Ricky Gervais’ comedy-drama series Derek, the Safe & Sound EP is Alfred Hall’s nudge on UK’s ears and fair to say it needs little time to potently seduce.

The single Safe & Sound opens up the EP, instantly infecting ears with its exotic percussion and jabbing beat as the gossamer caresses of the pair’s vocals wrap and float over the senses. Melodies are just as bright and magnetic whilst being skilfully contrasted by thicker and darker rhythmic hues as the song strolls and flirts with vivacious energy and contagion.  You can imagine yourself bouncing within the kiss and warm reassurance of the summer to the song, its addictive catchiness simply inescapable

Following a Simon Field Remix of the first song, So Bright entices with its own cast of temptations; boisterous rhythms and charming guitar jangles crowding round the bewitching falsetto laced vocals. The song is like an aural portrayal of sun rays glistening on a rippling stretch of watery beauty, transfixing and calming yet with plenty of inviting agitation to stir the spirit into bolder life.

As the first, the track is like a hex on the imagination and eager feet, leaving a lingering presence even as closing song Wild At Heart provides a Paul Simon like spicing of melodic calm and reflection for ears and thought to immerse in. The radiance of guitars is matched in voice and keys, all aligning with the shadows of rhythms and emotional contemplation to alluring effect.

The song is a fine end to what is an introduction to budding UK fans of Alfred Hall; a proposal which it is easy to expect, whether by individual tracks or the EP as a whole, finding as much enthusiastic attention as the band’s music has found at home and further afield. The summer starts here.

The Safe & Sound EP is out now.

https://www.facebook.com/alfredhallpage   https://twitter.com/alfredhallmusic

Pete RingMaster 06/04/2016

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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David Bronson – Questions

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Emotionally intimate and exploratory, with a just as expressive melodic climate, the new album from New York City singer songwriter/producer David Bronson is a warm and resourceful landscape of thought and sparkling enterprise. Consisting of songs which as its title, seems to stem from Questions Bronson has asked of himself and his life, the album is a striking and immersive caress on ears and imagination. It is not an encounter which always consistently lights personal appetites to the same strength as its finest moments, but one emerging as a lingering and thoroughly enjoyable proposition easy to recommend to those with a want of soulful and melody drenched creativity.

The successor to his acclaimed 2013 debut album The Long Lost Story, ‘a decade-in-the-making, 22-song autobiographical double album’ split into two separate releases, Questions sees Bronson looking at his life and the world right now, and drawing on the likes of vocalist Robin Clark (Aretha Franklin, Bob Dylan, Michael Jackson, Al Green, Bruce Springsteen, Beyonce, David Bowie), guitarist Carlos Alomar (David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Paul McCartney, John Lennon), guitarist Robbie “Seahag” Mangano, drummer Lautaro Burgos, and Gordon Grody to inventively colour these investigations. Whereas the first release expressed a more indie rock seeded sound around his seventies inspired songwriting, the new album embraces new adventurous flavours such as soul, folk, and gospel in its new proposals, a spicing helping the Godfrey Diamond (Lou Reed)/Bronson produced Questions become a captivating and intriguingly varied encounter.

From the opening Songbird, Bronson and album has ears and attention awake, its acoustic caress of guitar the canvas for some delicious harmonies and the lyrical prowess and insight of Bronson. Immediately there is a Paul Simon like air to the heart of the song but also plenty to make it radiate a fresh and original presence. Vibrant beats only add catchy texture to the gentle swing of the song but it is the gospel bred harmonies which steal the impressive show.

Both Move Like Water and Day By Day glide through personal balladry with Bronson and guitar again offering a sure and warm entrance to which melodies and sultry climates, not david bronson questions cover lgeforgetting a great throaty bassline in the first of the two, immerse senses and thoughts evocatively. Each pleases with their individual charms but it is with Push that another surge of greed hits ears and personal appetite. The fourth track is an instant drama with keys straight away looming and laying down a single prod before taking a pause, returning a few seconds later with the same Boomtown Rats like potency as they align to the alluring strum of the guitar. It is a mesmeric track, voice and music sketching an easily accessible and emotively connecting narrative in a dance of creative and vivacious enterprise.

The following Task is another stirring and inescapable invitation for feet and emotions to fully engage in, its sway of funk fuelled revelry a swift and fascinating infectiousness with melodic resourcefulness to match. It and its predecessor provide the pinnacle of the album, the thrilling peak to which other songs aspire but with varying success cannot quite emulate. Despite that the likes of the Lennon-esque All These Things and the smouldering dark folk theatre of Life Is long provide thoroughly enjoyable and lingering temptations whilst the melodic rock fuelled My Good Friend with its compelling seventies psyche rock keys, add another strain of bright adventure and full pleasure to album and emotions respectively.

The closing pair of Connect The Dots and Passing Fiction slip into more reserved hugs of melodic and harmonic endeavour which, without finding the same persuasive spark as their immediate predecessors, ignite ears and thoughts with consummate ease. The guitar adventure of the pair is an especially thrilling and magnetic coaxing, the twinges of discord which bless the imagination of strings and fingers as enthralling as anything on the album.

Questions is a definite investigation for certainly fans of the likes of Paul Simon and John Lennon but equally those of current talent like Seth Lakeman and Thom Bowden. The album did not quite ignite enough fire in emotions across its length but really only due to personal tastes and with some quite thrilling tracks and invention involved it is easy to assume it will spark a blaze in a great many.

Questions is available from 19th January via Big Arc

www.davidbronsonmusic.com

RingMaster 19/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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The Sons – Heading Into Land

the sons cover

Appetite for the new album from UK band The Sons was certainly awoken by their recent single Relic, but to say that the warm irresistible might of Heading into Land was expected would be a little misleading. Certainly the single brought strong hopes its full-length source but not to the extent that the album would dance with the imagination and fire up the emotions. The twelve track release is vibrant refreshment for the summer, a warm consoling for darker times, and one thoroughly enjoyable romp.

Consisting of Paul Herron (vocals, piano, guitar), Steven Herron (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Roger Millichamp (drums), Stewart English (vocals, guitar), Lee Blades (vocals, bass), the 2002 formed Derby indie rock quintet has employed inspirations from the likes of Crowded House, Wilco, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac into a unique sound which has already brought acclaim and floods of fans through previous albums, Visiting Hours of 2007 and its successor The Prime Words Committee four years later. Their sound fuses in elements of folk and rhythm and blues into a melodic rock presence which is varied and persistently intriguing. Heading Into Land is their next adventure, a release for which The Sons started a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012. Despite raising over £11,500, the band just missed their target but rather than sink into pity came back with their own home-grown crowd-funding campaign. It was a successful endeavour thanks to their ever supporting fanbase and innovative rewards with Heading Into Land the result, a thoroughly enjoyable encounter to those who helped bring it to be, we should all share a thank you.

The immediately engaging Right Colour Makeup sets the album off on a strong note, a piano casting melodic expression as the vocals begin parading the narrative of the song. With similarly enticing rhythms the song makes a tempting start before darker bass tones and flirting guitar designs wrap ears. At times there is a feel of XTC to the offering as well as Union Starr within the expanding melodic caress, a flavour easy to consume, as is the song in its impressive entirety.

The strong start is matched by Death Love Money, a track with a sultry air to its stroll and expressive punch to its vocal and melodic swagger. There is also a southern croon to the heart of the song which colours its magnetic canvas, a landscape again crafted through the emotive hues of keys and guitar. A familiarity is also prevalent but only to add further suasion to the tempting, an air as with most of the songs breeding immediate friendship for ears and thoughts. That flavouring in another unique character flirts from within the deliciously rhythmic temptation of Crowd Went Wild. The rhythms of Millichamp roam enticingly across senses and imagination, every beat evocatively leading thoughts into an instinctive and organic canter of smouldering melodies and vocal descriptions. It is a glorious encounter, the first of a few lofty pinnacles within the already impressive release.

Both the riveting When I Want To and the I’m Not Happy keep fun and pleasure aflame, the first with its nagging piano lure and poetic guitar melodies. There is also a drama to the easy going and flowing persuasion which makes every note and syllable a spark for the imagination whilst its successor shuffles and twists like a Caribbean bred temptress, every swing of its rhythmic hips and wrapping of melodic caresses a vivaciously simmering seduction. It is an aural cruise for thoughts to bask in and emotions to explore, a reassuring siren for the heart leading into the immensely captivating Relic. Released a short few weeks ago, the song as mentioned laid down compelling bait and still after numerous excursions of its evocative seizure of ears and imagination, continues to ignite the strongest hunger. Opening on a gentle swing of emotive keys, subtle groaning bass, and the expressive voice of Paul Herron, the track evolves into an enthralling smouldering of mouthwatering enterprise and imagination. Intrigue sculpted crescendos erupt across the song’s body, each accompanied by melodic mystique and irresistible design from guitars and keys, whilst the bass groans with riveting expression. The song quite simply is melancholic beauty which just gets better with age.

We See Stars is another song destined to be a long-term friend, its crisp rhythms courted by the ever appealing throaty voice of the bass beneath absorbing breezes of melodies and creative imagination. As the album, there is a freshness and rich melodic colour to the castings on ears, a unique vibrancy which is just as open on the folk hug of On The Corner where dark velvety string plucks of assumedly an upright bass steal the show. Both tracks embrace and invigorate, though admittedly not to the extent of the outstanding Flash And Bang which follows. With bass carvings and an electrified web of guitar, the track is an anthemic indie rocker clad in inventive mischief and boisterous revelry. With a wind of eighties new wave and a vein of Late Cambrian like power pop, the track takes top honours on the album, sinews and melodic relish ablaze to incite feet and passion with puppeteer artistry.

A southern country bred air returns to soaks the next up Hard Life, another song which consumes thoughts with a gentle but formidable potency, if without exciting as infectiously as previous tracks. It is still a highly appealing turn in the album, setting up emotions for the excellent reggae seeded stepping of Down Sometimes, a track swerving its body with melodic fantasy and quirky key stabs for a beautifully sculpted and presented stroll. Feet and voice are instant slaves to the song so that the listener goes into the final title track on a high to fully embrace its dramatic and stormy yet uplifting landscape and emotional journey. It is a fine end to an impressive album which leaves ears and pleasure basking in melodic and creative mastery.

The Sons has been described as a ‘best kept secret’ but after the so easy to recommend Heading Into Land hits shore it is easy to suspect that the term will be quite redundant.

Heading Into Land is available now!

http://the-sons.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 30/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

 

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The Sons – Relic

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Relic is the new melancholically embraced single from UK band The Sons, a song which caresses ears in reflective words and melodies aligned to a subtlety of drama which captivates across the track’s ebbing and flowing breath. Taken from their March released third album Heading Into Land, the band’s new single is an encounter which from being simply pleasing evolves into a quite mesmeric and persistently lingering proposition.

Hailing from Derby, the quintet of Paul Herron (vocals, piano, guitar), Steven Herron (vocals, guitar, keyboards), Roger Millichamp (drums), Stewart English (vocals, guitar), Lee Blades (vocals, bass) has made a strong continually growing impression with their highly flavoursome and vibrantly designed sound since forming in 2002. Taking inspirations from the likes of Crowded House, Wilco, Paul Simon, and Fleetwood Mac, the band also enhanced their reputation through debut album Visiting Hours of 2007 and its successor The Prime Words Committee four years later. Having extensively toured the UK and Europe across their years, The Sons set about funding their third album with a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012. Though over £11,500 was pledged by fans the band failed to reach their target, to which the band tried again with their own home-grown crowd-funding campaign. Raising even more money this time around, thanks to innovative rewards, the band hit the studio last year, emerging with the eagerly received Heading Into Land.

Relic follows the first single from the album, Death Love Money, reinforcing its lure and temptation into the arms of the album. The new release opens on a gentle swing of emotive keys, subtle groaning bass, and swiftly after the great expressive voice of Paul Herron. From its first evocative seizure of ears and imagination, the song is a captivating caress, an essence of Elton John playing with senses as the potent vocals and keys reflect. It is a very decent opening, if a little underwhelming initially, but as the song explores its emotions and narratives it evolves into a riveting smouldering of creative enterprise and mouthwatering imagination. Intrigue and invention sculpted crescendos erupt within the song whilst a melodic mystique similarly seduces with its irresistible design. It is a glorious twist in the evocative stroll of the song, one accentuated by the slower passages of just voice, keys, and emotion.

The song is a vibrant and enthralling brew of indie, folk, and alternative rock honed into an infectious web of incitement distinct to The Sons. Once it has unveiled its poetic bait it is hard to not imagine a wealth of new attentive focus finding the band, as with us; keenly exploring band and album. Sometimes it needs just one song to open up a new greedy appetite and Relic certainly is thrilling proof.

Relic is released on Monday 9th June 2014 as a digital download.

http://www.the-sons.com

8.5/10

RingMaster 08/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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Dreamstealer: Girls Are Fun Again

Girls Are Fun Again the new single from funky blues  musician Dreamstealer is one of those quirky and simple pop songs which almost enters the area of guilty pleasure. To be fair it is not close to being cheesy enough to make that fall but there is a small wondering, from one where the harder, louder and more technical something is the better, whether the enjoyment in its company should be as full as it is.

The song is a  piece of blues soaked pop borne from the unique funky blues style of Dreamstealer which the artist developed during his informative music years. Dreamstealer is the one man project of Arno Guveau, a man has been a regular busker on the London Underground in his past. Life to date has seen Guveau tour as a drummer with blues legends Little Tony and Greyhound Levi, playing with the likes of Champion Jack Dupree, Luther Johnston, Louisiana Red and Arthur Conley, and as a producer and mixer working with artists like Manfred Mann, Bob Weston (ex Fleetwood Mac), Stevie Ann, and Louise Latham to name a few. His songwriting also saw him active with bands like Into Seven, Chill Out and The Dreamstealers, every experience going into and evolving his own compositions and style.

The single is the forerunner to his debut solo album Son of the Big Smoke which is released in 2012 and across its tracks the single gives a nice teaser and taster of what to expect. First song Girls Are Fun Again instantly pricks up the ears with its brass swagger and gentle blues guitar whispering. As mentioned the song in all aspects is uncomplicated and uncluttered and makes for an easy and openly infectious pleasure. The chorus is as catchy as the simple hooks to ensure a joining of voices by the second chorus and toes within the first few chords and rhythmic enticements. It is a song where nothing truly stands out but all combines for a simmering vibrancy and warm fun.

The single is a three track release with the second song being the album version of the first track but with a mere ten or so seconds difference in length and nothing tangible in sound to set them apart one wonders if the ear missed something or it is just a filler.

Again from the forthcoming album, the final song is its title track Son of the Big Smoke. The song is another blues flavoured track with a more traditional air to its distinct body. The song and Guveau offer a mix which holds essences of Neil Young and in some ways Paul Simon for a sound which though it is not normally the sugar for our tea, more than left a pleasant flavour within the ear.

Girls Are Fun Again like its subject matter is fun and leaves one with a smile whilst offering intrigue towards what the first album from Dreamstealer will bring to the smoky blues party.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dreamstealer/451068661579335

RingMaster 15/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

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