The Slow Readers Club – Cavalcade

Picture 72

After a clutch of increasingly impressive and fascinating singles across last year moving into this, anticipation of Cavalcade, the second album from UK indie rockers The Slow Readers Club was high and excited for a growing sea of fans, including us. Each of the quartet of songs offered was a riveting teaser and evidence of the band’s upcoming release and diversely sculpted sound respectively. Those propositions still shine like flaming beacons as they sit within the walls of Cavalcade but are matched by a collection of new to the ear tracks which simply seduce ears and imagination.

Hailing from Manchester, The Slow Readers Club have been no strangers to acclaim these past months. Their singles have drawn frequent praise and support from fans and media alike whilst their live presence has seen highly successful shows with the likes of Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Struts, Reverend and the Makers, and The Sunshine Underground as well as well-received appearances at Tramlines Festival, Party in the Pines, and the Blackthorn Festival. Journalist and frontman for Goldblade John Robb predicted that 2015 would see The Slow Readers Club breaking through to become one of the most important bands to emerge from Manchester’s music scene in recent years. Everything has backed up his suggestion and certainly Cavalcade has brought the year one of its major triumphs.

Picture 2     Creating an emotive and cinematically coloured mix of indie and electro pop, The Slow Readers Club has an embracing and immersive sound which places the listener into the scenery and heart of each song’s narrative as if physically there. Instant evidence comes with album opener Start Again. Its opening cauldron of electro temptation is an immediate potent lure, one only intensifying as a throaty bass line links with choppy guitar riffs and the equally magnetic vocals. It comes with an eighties electro pop breath, as most songs, yet creates a suggestive web of new and unique tempting which is best described as B-Movie meets Interpol but is solely The Slow Readers Club. The embracing keys of Aaron Starkie and the imaginative guitar enterprise of Kurtis Starkie weave an inescapable persuasion, their vocals similarly richly alluring though to be fair every aspect of the song is a lingering incitement, the almost dirty tones of James Ryan’s bass and the punchy beats of drummer David Whitworth equally irresistible, and when it is all united what emerges is a sublime piece of pop alchemy.

Impressive as it is though, the song is surpassed by the following I Saw a Ghost, surely the bands best song to date though it is seriously challenged by other tracks on the album. The band’s recent single, it opens with voice and beats casting a swift and dramatic proposal, one caressed by the warm evocative texture of keys. It is not long before the again wonderfully heavy voice of the bass is aligning itself to the lighter hues of guitar, each contrasting and enhancing the other and the evolving proposition. The entrance of the bass also seems to inspire a heftier energy to Whitworth’s swings, creating a captivating merger of light and dark tones and also as a physical persuasion. The track is sensational, once more seemingly bringing differing decades of pop into alignment for a seriously compelling and intoxicating slice of anthemic tempting.

Forever in Your Debt has a darker emotive air to its presence, from its first breath the bass casting a solemn yet inviting tone to the song and continued by the impressive vocal expression and qualities bringing the song’s premise into ears and thoughts. Bubbly guitar and atmospheric keys add to the brewing drama, every twist revealing new shadows and corners to eagerly explore whilst sound wise there is a post punk like essence tempering the potent heat of melodies and hooks.

Three songs in and variety is as open as the connecting prowess of the band’s imagination, the mesmeric Plant the Seed giving further swift proof. Like a blend of Depeche Mode and Bronski Beat, the song is a transfixing croon of dark electro and synth pop, entrancing ears before leading them into an almost visual passage of intimate reflection and radiant persuasion. A track which impresses from the first play and only grows more potent, it is emulated by the melodically and emotionally climatic Days Like This Will Break Your Heart. It is a brooding inventive roar of an encounter which is almost volcanic in its intensity and sonic landscape. Both tracks continue the immense flight of the album perfectly but are put in the shade a touch by the outstanding Don’t Mind. It is one of those serenades which linger with unrelenting persistence, a lively and evocative caress which just connects with situations we have all been through whilst providing an absorbing soundtrack. With a touch of Black/ Colin Vearncombe to its croon, the song is seductive balladry at its most sublime.

The album’s title track is next and needs little time to bewitch as spicy guitar endeavour fuels a feel of The Smiths at its beginning. It’s reserved but potent start soon builds into a thicker and more dramatically hued theatre of emotion and sound where spices of The The and The Associates flirt with the band’s ideation. The track adds to the growing list of the major moments on the album, and there are so many, before making way for Fool for Your Philosophy to reveal its tangy electro enterprise and dark drama. The almost sinister rhythms of Ryan and Whitworth are worth the price of ‘the ticket’ alone, as too the exceptional vocals whilst the vibrant and energetic dance of keys and melodies are a fire in the enthralling darkness of the song.

Both Grace of God and Here in the Hollow hold body and emotions tight, the first a beautiful intensive flirtation with a Frankie Goes To Hollywood charm and vivacity to it whilst its successor, from an enticing simmering start, grows into one glorious anthem of sound and emotion where vocals again are the mighty instigators to the irresistible theatre of the song sculpted by colossal sounds. We mentioned some songs rival I Saw a Ghost for the pinnacle of the band’s songs to date and this is a definite contender.

The enthralling and emotively fuelled Secrets provides an excellent pungent drama next before things are brought to a close by Know the Day Will Come a song which makes a slow and decent enough start but erupts into another creatively incendiary exploration for ears and emotions. It is a thumping end to a quite exceptional album.

Expectations were high because of the band’s previous singles but The Slow Readers Club has surpassed them and themselves with Cavalcade. The bare fact is that it will be astonishing if you find a better rock pop album in 2015 then this modern classic.

Cavalcade is available now, digitally @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/cavalcade/id979245862 and on CD/vinyl via http://theslowreadersclub.bandcamp.com/merch

http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk     http://www.facebook.com/theslowreadersclub

RingMaster 14/04/2015

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://www.reputationradio.net

The Slow Readers Club – I Saw a Ghost

Picture 72

With just a few short weeks to the release of their second album Cavalcade, UK indie band The Slow Readers Club are releasing not only a pungent teaser to their forthcoming offering, but one of their finest moments yet in the shape of new single I Saw A Ghost. It is aural magnetism, an evocative embrace of emotional shadows and intoxicating sound reinforcing the Manchester based band as one of the most fascinating and exciting propositions on the British rock scene

The past year has seen the quartet luring increasing acclaim through a host of enticing singles, including previous single Forever In Your Debt and its predecessor Don’t Mind. They are no strangers to praise and attention it is fair to say, their live presence drawing as much eager reactions as their releases with last year seeing the band play a sold out show at Manchester’s Night and Day as well as successful appearances at Tramlines Festival, Party in the Pines and Blackthorn Festival alongside support slots with bands such as Catfish & The Bottlemen, The Struts, Reverend and the Makers, and The Sunshine Underground. They can also list Peter Hook amongst their enthusiastic fans, a following which from the release of their debut self-titled album in 2012 has perpetually and raucously increased.

Picture 66   Now The Slow Readers Club is stoking the fires of those followers and greater anticipation of their new album with I Saw a Ghost. The song is themed around depression, more specifically according to vocalist Aaron Starkie, “It’s about appearing to have a normal happy life but carrying something with you that can descend at any moment and make everything appear bleak.” It is an emotion perfectly embraced and exposed by the music within the single, its body and gait a bouncy persuasion with infectious energy and character but holding onto underlying shadows and dark thoughts just as tightly. It opens with Starkie immediately unveiling his and the songs’ heart in the embrace of his own crafted keys. Alongside them the jabbing beats of David Whitworth punctuate the emotional drama being shown, whilst the throaty tones of bass from James Ryan only add to the dark air though it is all swiftly tempered by the contagious enterprise of Kurtis Starkie’s guitar amidst that tantalising celestial breath of keys.

The song continues to blend dark and light, each entwining the other with craft and tenacity whilst providing a rigorous stroll of infectiousness amidst immersive almost suffocating dark rapture. The Slow Readers Club are usually and understandably compared to the likes of Interpol, The Killers, and The National but it is easy to also suggest moments of the track has elements of The Smiths, especially the start, and bands like Silhouettes to it. As previous songs though, it emerges as something distinct and instantly recognisable to The Slow Readers Club whilst providing the strongest suggestion that there is a new album on the horizon all sort eagerly check out.

I Saw a Ghost is available now @ https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/i-saw-a-ghost-single/id973544966 with Cavalcade will be released via Extenso Music on April 13th.

http://www.theslowreadersclub.co.uk     http://www.facebook.com/theslowreadersclub

RingMaster 30/03/2015

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 Persian Leaps – Drive Drive Delay

Picture 61

Creating a sparkling clang of noise pop with indie breeding and a raw slither of punk, the sound of US band The Persian Leaps is one of those propositions which you do not realise how much you are enjoying it until it departs the ears. Certainly that was the effect of their new EP Drive Drive Delay, an encounter which made a strong if not exactly overwhelming start but by its third song had feet dancing to its tune and by the close urged an immediate need to press play all over again. It is hard to declare the offering as a major breakthrough for the Saint Paul in Minnesota hailing band, but it has plenty to awaken a real appetite for more and the potential of that upcoming moment.

The band’s seeds began with singer/guitarist Drew Forsberg, who came up with the name in a doodle whilst attending a college Greek Archaeology course. Using the name to write music independently over many years, sound inspired by the likes of My Bloody Valentine, The Smiths, Guided by Voices, and Teenage Fanclub, he eventually brought the band to full life in 2012 with the expansion of the line-up. Last year saw the release of their acclaimed debut EP Praise Elephants, a well-received proposition now potently backed and at times surpassed by Drive Drive Delay.

Fire Starter sets things off and as mentioned at the start, makes a good if not exactly attention grabbing opening to the release. With thick chords and keen rhythms shaping its body after an initial vocally abrasing start, the song jangles and sonically sparks in ears with agreeable responses but there is something missing energy wise and exposed further by subsequent songs. Nevertheless bright harmonies and that persistent discordance clad ring of the guitars ensures it is no throwaway offering, just a less striking one especially once the following Pretty Boy takes over. The song swings with hefty beats from drummer Michael McCloskey across the caustic flame of Forsberg’s guitar whilst his great vocals, accompanied by the band, bring vibrant colour to the already tenacious mixture. An old school punk spice lures at the heart of the track and is especially delicious, recalling the likes of The Lurkers and the pop punk of the Radiators, whilst the song as a whole pushes Drive Drive Delay to loftier heights.

The next up (Goodbye to) South Carolina flows through ears on a scuzzy tide of riffs but with a raw bait courted by an almost spatial melodic flaming which is almost Birdland like in sonic Picture 62enterprise. Like the first song, it does not stir the imagination and emotions as its predecessor but still makes a tasty appetiser with its great acidic twang for the final pair of outstanding songs.

Truth = Consequences is a fiery croon of sound around a similarly delivered mellow caress of vocals. The track shimmers and bellows with creativity as again riffs and hooks glow with sonic heat and enterprise whilst the throaty basslines of Brad Hendrickson simply enslave the appetite in the short but riveting encounter. It is the new peak for the EP but straight away eclipsed by the excellent Permission. The closing song swings in on a rhythmic rumble clad in the fuzzy temptation of guitar, swaggering with melodic radiance and thickly barbed bass tones. That My Bloody Valentine influence is a loud whisper across the evolving landscape of the track, but equally there is unique freshness to the virulence and character of the hooks and winy grooves which vein the warm if volatile ambience of the triumph.

The EP is a potent introduction to newcomers to The Persian Leaps like us and in hindsight an impressive continuation of the qualities in the emerging band that their fans already knew about. It may have made a slow impression initially but more of the same ahead would certainly go down a treat.

The Drive Drive Delay EP is available now via Land Ski Records and digitally @ http://thepersianleaps.bandcamp.com/

http://thepersianleaps.com/

RingMaster 12/01/2015

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.thereputationlabel.today

 

Chris Flynn – Falling to Pieces (Dumped)

Picture 54

The successor to the acclaimed Pandora, new single Falling to Pieces (Dumped) from UK singer songwriter Chris Flynn makes another potent and ear catching step in his emergence. As expressively dramatic as it is melodically seductive, the song clasps imagination and emotions in an intimacy that all can relate too whilst enveloping ears in a refreshing almost theatrical adventure. It is not a demanding song but makes a forceful persuasion through the almost intense invention of the songwriting and its broody sounds, resulting in one infectiously enticing statement.

Hailing from Manchester, Flynn has earned a reputation as one of the cities most talented musicians over the past couple of years or so, a claim certainly reinforced by last single Pandora and now Falling to Pieces (Dumped). Drawing on inspirations from the likes of Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, The Smiths, and Brecht, his music and lyrical prowess embraces everyday life and relationships in a manner which as mentioned earlier builds an intimacy with the listener. With a live presence which has seen him as a special guest for artists such as John Fullbright and songwriter Martin G Stephenson, as well as play a host of festivals including Kendal Calling, Ramsbottom Festival, Greater Manchester Fringe Festival, and Salford Music Festival alongside his own headlining shows, Flynn continues to build a presence which is not shy of drawing praise and keen attention. Falling to Pieces (Dumped) will only add to his rising stock whilst again showing more diversity and adventure in his songwriting. Ahead of an album produced by Paul Mortlock and featuring guests such as drummer Pete Marshall from Paul Heaton’s band and hammond organist Christian Madden, the new single only invites closer attention and ignites richer enjoyment for the creatively provocative artist.

With Dickon Kyme-Wright, Norman Cooke, and Mortlock in his band for the single, Flynn instantly grips ears as his voice makes the first touch in sound and narrative. Swiftly alongside him a melancholic bass slowly lumbers with angst whilst a guitar spreads its enticement of melodic reflection. It is a thoroughly captivating start which only increases its seduction and enterprise as keys add their fiery colour and beats accentuate their already crisp punctuation to the personal drama colouring the riveting proposition. Its folk seeds are unmistakeable yet there is an underlying muscle and tension to the track which is rock spawned and almost punk in air.

Falling to Pieces (Dumped) is a temptress of a proposal, almost at odds in flirtation and invention with the lost love and emotional turmoil of the lyrical portrait. Most of all it is a thrilling new stride in the praise soaked ascent of Chris Flynn and an anticipation sparking teaser for the forthcoming album.

Falling to Pieces (Dumped) is available digitally from November 3rd. For more info check out http://www.chrisflynn.org.uk

RingMaster 02/11/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

Jekyll – I Do What I Can

jekyll

Taken from their debut EP of a couple of months ago, I Do What I Can provides plenty of evidence as to why there is a healthy buzz around Jekyll. The band’s new single is a flavoursome mix of crisp rhythms and evocative melodies seduced by potent vocals and infectious enterprise, and though the song is not carving out new directions for melodic/alternative rock, it certainly provides a captivating and inventive flavour which sets the band apart from most of the crowd.

Formed in 2011, the Blackpool quartet of Joel Foster (vocals/guitar/keys), Jonny Chatterton (guitar/vocals), Lewis Armistead (bass), and Liam Singleton (drums) were soon grabbing attention locally and further afield with their emerging sound. Inspired by the likes of Muse, Radiohead, Kasabian, The Smiths, Nirvana, Editors, Joy Division, Maximo Park, and REM, the band followed up the well-received release of their demo, which drew strong attention from BBC Introducing and more, with their self-titled debut EP in May of this year. It too was met with an eager response. Released ahead of and in celebration of Jekyll’s appearance at The Membranes upcoming gig at the top of Blackpool Tower to celebrate the landmark’s 120th anniversary, I Do What I Can is one of those melodic parties which linger and never go home. It does not offer startling surprises and ground-breaking moments but for providing rich satisfaction it is a sure bet.

From its first second guitars are crafting an emotive melodic web as rhythms jab across them purposefully whilst the bass independently offers a potent shadow to an already melancholic air. It is a swiftly enticing blend which the vocals of Foster only brings more evocative expression to, the song now relaxing to a percussive coaxing as guitars tenderly embrace his entrance. There is a familiarity around the eventful chorus, vocally and musically, with that REM essence open but equally it flows into a sonic colour and adventure which soon has the imagination lost in originality and melodic emprise. The track continues to flirt and seduce with invention and skilful twists across its fluid narrative, and though lyrically a couple of times you have to give the song the benefit of the doubt, I Do What I Can embraces and leads ears through to emotions on a tantalising flight of creative and anthemic endeavour.

Jekyll is a band catching on with the thoughts and emotions of an increasingly growing following and I Do What I Can will certainly do no harm to their growing spotlight.

I Do What I Can is available digitally now.

http://jekyllband.wix.com/jekyllband

8/10

RingMaster 04/08/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://audioburger247.webs.com/

parker BOMBSHELL – The Hours Down EP

parker BOMBSHELL The Hours Down

Ahead of a new EP due towards the end of June, we catch up with its predecessor The Hours Down EP which came out just three or so weeks ago. Consisting of five magnetic encounters from the individual imagination of Canadian band parker BOMBSHELL, the release is a captivating eighties bred dance which leaves feet eagerly agitated and thoughts thoroughly engaged. The band has evolved dramatically since its early days as just Parker, but has always reaped the richest essences of original synth pop and modern indie pop for a contagious enticement, which easily sums up The Hours Down EP.

The adventure of Toronto duo singer/songwriter Tom McNeil (also renowned for his podcast Addictions & Other Vices at Audioburger.com) and songwriter/singer/producer Thomas Ryder Payne, parker BOMBSHELL bring inspirations of the likes of Peter Gabriel, Elvis Costello, R.E.M., Billy Bragg, The Cure, The Smiths, Squeeze, Blondie and many more into their own elegant offerings. The latest release is the first in a series of four EPs which will make up debut album The Hours Down, each examining the five steps of recovery from depression and trauma. On the evidence of The Hours Down EP its full-length namesake promises to be an intriguing and absorbing experience.

Latest single Dust opens up the EP, and immediately casts a celestial sparkling of key spawned notes. The enchanted air is soon thickened with coaxing melodies and welcoming harmonies as a brewing energy builds behind the temptation. The track is soon settles into a slow but purposeful stroll, McNeil laying down his rich baritone yet mellow tones upon the musicianship of Payne to great effect and success but it is when the mesmeric voice of guest Rebekah Higgs comes into view that the song truly catches the imagination. With echoing harmonies and robust pulsating beats accompanying her entrance, tingles are sent down the spine as a seductive tempting spreads its bait before being embraced by the full weight and enterprise of the encounter again. The song as potent as it is initially is also a slow burner which just gets stronger and more welcomingly intrusive over each taking of its riveting creative emprise.

The following Long Drawn Out Goodbyes has a task indeed to follow the impressive start and it does itself no harm with an initial jangle of China Crisis like guitar amidst expressive breath of keys. The song moves into a potent stride soon after led by again punchy beats under an umbrella of evocative melodic expression sculpted by keys and synths. As expected that eighties spice is a prevalent enticement, elements of OMD and again eighties synth pop seeping into the colour of the song. Like a few of the tracks on the EP it does not explode or erupt as expected, and at times hoped, but gently smoulders with a melancholic like allure until reaching its more pungently enriched climax, a finale soaked in an enthralling drama and intensity.

Another Great Depression sweeps in next, a dark resonance the breeding ground for shadowed keys and great niggling guitar to beckon over which synths tantalise and tempt. Through the heart of it the vocals of McNeill smoothly unveil the narrative and emotive shadows of the song, his voice holding sway against the evolving textures and enterprise of Payne, whose darker throated tones add a menacing depth to the emerging landscape of the song. Like the first track it is a proposition which only grows and impresses more over time, and even though its initial encounter is not as impacting as that of Dust, it eventually puts that right to add another rich aspect to the release.

The brief but decent ballad Stuck Here comes next; voice and keys primarily casting emotive hues for thoughts to run with. It does not spark the same appetite as other songs, feeling like it is either unfinished or an intro to a song, though not its successor on the EP I would suggest. It is strong and appealing but out of place where it is, neither working as an interlude nor as mentioned as a lead into the last track Sucking Retail. The closer is a mixed bag of irresistible magnetism and towering temptation, but an offering which ebbs and flows in potency and success at times. Its crescendos are magnificent, contagious enticements which enslave the passions with nostalgic but fresh enterprise and vivacity but the moments in between, whilst laying out engaging bait, lack the dynamics and sheer drama of its better moments.

Nevertheless it is a fine end to a very appetising release which fans of organic synth pop will find plenty to enjoy in. It is a strong start to the emerging debut album from parker BOMBSHELL; time will tell if it is sustained but right now it is easy to be confident about that.

The Hours Down EP is available now @ http://parkerbombshell.com

7.5/10

RingMaster 18/06/2014

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

 

Spies – Distant Shorelines EP

600864_10151433198369331_1549884915_n

If you merged The Smiths and Echo and The Bunnymen with a dash of The Mighty Lemon Drops and The National you get Spies, certainly on the evidence of the Distant Shorelines EP alone, though admittedly it is still not the whole story. Consisting of two scintillating and ridiculously compelling expanses of sonic and melodic ingenuity, the release is a breath-taking, imagination firing seduction which provides the evidence of one fascinating emerging tour-de-force. As their recent single November Sun, the release out November 18th via Trout Records, is a dramatically absorbing and invigorating sculpting of sound using essences of post punk, eighties indie, and noise rock. It instantly seduces and tantalises the senses never relinquishing its grip until the final ounce of its atmospheric evocation has caressed the passions.

From Dublin the quintet of Michael Broderick, Neil Dexter, Conor Cusack, Hugh O’Dwyer, and Jeffrey Courtney soon had attention and acclaim coating their early releases, the Liars Call Me King EP of 2010 and the Barricade single the following year. With radio play and attention, media coverage, and successful festival appearances surrounding Spies they soon built a strong and growing fanbase which will only accelerate in size with Distant Shorelines.

Opening with a raw and scuzz kissed guitar stroking of the ear soon joined by an intensive surf rock like melodic hook; Distant SpiesShorelines has little difficulty in igniting a healthy appetite, one which has a hunger on its hands just as soon as the strolling anthemic drum temptation lays down its intent. The magnetic vocals of Broderick only increase the bait as his smouldering and expressive tones begin their emotive narrative within an increasingly enchanting and incendiary weave of aural fascination. The delicious pulsating throaty basslines and anthemically persistent rhythms hold an irresistible grip throughout but given a stage to drive the songs potency home with only the Morrissey like tones of Broderick for company, they enslave the passions for the song to exploit and treat further. The track is sheer sonic beauty; a haunted post punk unpredictability and emotionally intense melodic toxin permeating ears and thoughts virulently whilst the vocals weave their own expressive design to seal a spellbinding provocation.

Mint And Lime immediately offers a darker shadowed clad presence, the gnarled bass and drum webbing creating an addiction forging lure for the noise fuelled jagged guitars to conjure a psyche lit blaze. Like Joy D vision meets The Gaa Gaas with some Cabaret Voltaire for good measure, it is a hypnotic entrance which only piles on the persuasion with The Smiths like vocal lilt and melodic enticements. Chilled yet sultry, the song is incendiary manna for the passions, a presence which evolves a soundscape like no other and a sirenesque call which is epidemically efficient.

Together the two tracks provide all the imagination and incredibly potent evidence needed to culture a lustful hunger for Spies and their sound, something which the single November Sun just as powerfully endorses with its melodically flaming and atmospherically entrancing presence. Just receiving its video launch too, the song is another sensational urging upon the passions to embrace and succumb to Spies, one of the most exciting and aurally stunning bands to come along over the past couple of years.

https://www.facebook.com/spiesdublin

10/10

RingMaster 16/11/2013

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Listen to the best independent music and artists on The RingMaster Review Radio Show and The Bone Orchard from

http://www.audioburger.com

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

Funeral Suits – Hands Down

Hands Down is the stunning new single from Dublin quartet Funeral Suits, a song as mesmeric and captivating as it is bold and inciteful. Taken from the excellent Lily Of The Valley album, the song is a dramatic and atmospheric weave which leaves one lost in thought and imagination whilst igniting the fullest pleasure.

The quartet of Brian James, Mik McKeogh, Greg McCarthy and Dar Grant, lit up the year with their album within which Hands Down was a golden moment amongst a plethora of melodic fires. Arguably it was a little overwhelmed within the context of the heated inspiration the album brought but standing alone it truly unveils its impressive and beautiful heart and invention. Released via Model Citizen Records and produced by Stephen Street (The Smiths, Blur), the majestic track is aural gold, a melodic treasure to immerse within.

Funeral Suits begin the song with smouldering harmonies, solemn beats, and with the guitar leaving little sonic fires across the roof of the song.  The vocals shimmer with energy and restraint within equally gaited music for a sensual ambience. As the rhythms quicken their pace there is a sense of something still to be defined brewing within the pulsating heart of the song. Eventually the passion and insatiable breath of the song erupts in a burning crescendo of energy and emotion, the full rock stomp incendiary and compulsive.

Hands Down is three minutes of instinctive and glorious invention, a thoughtful and evocative song to spark imagery and ignite raging emotional fires. It is a real gem and an absorbing experience which all should pay attention to.

There is also a video to the release which carries on the theme from the video for previous single All Those Friendly People. It is not for the faint hearted and can be seen below.

http://funeralsuits.com/

RingMaster 12/10/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

Alaska Campus: When We Were Young EP

If indie pop has been feeling a little stale in recent months for you then checking out the new EP from UK band Alaska Campus is a must to rekindle the enthusiasm. The When We Were Young EP is an exciting and superbly crafted explosion of melodic might which equally caresses and warms the emotions or stirs them up with eager energy and enterprise across its five tracks.

Formed in 2011 by Ryan Potter (synth, rhythm guitar and lead vocals) and Daniel Dorney (synth, lead guitar and backing vocals) in college, Alaska Campus initially started out as a post-hardcore sounding project by the duo. Though the sound and band, with the addition of Liam O’Sullivan (drums, percussion and backing vocals) and Liam Fossey (bass, and backing vocals), has evolved to a more expansive and melodic proposition they have still retained an edge and abrasive tension within their music. August of the same year saw the release of their Keep Yourself Warm EP to strong acclaim. The Hertfordshire quartet now return with a release which elevates their sound and surely will their stature within the UK once it is released September 10th.

The band list their inspirations as bands like The Smiths, Death Cab For Cutie, and Bombay Bicycle Club, and as the tracks play these flavours are obvious to some extent though it is fair to say the band has a distinct spice of their own which leaves the strongest and brightest taste. The EP opens with You Me And The Sun, a song which enchants the ear immediately with its jangling porcelain guitar riffs and beckoning. Stepping back at first to let the emotive vocals of Potter approach the ear, the track is soon adding spots of rhythms and sonic lights to emphasise the passion within the words. With crashing crescendos and glorious vocal harmonies as it evolves the song becomes an irresistible anthemic lure, a rousing feast of energy and sound to get the heart pumping faster and pulse rate racing, not to mention to leave one breathless.

The following Roseanna opens with gentle caresses of guitar and vocals, similar to the opener in many ways but sounding distinctly different with its melodramatic atmosphere. Though it does not feel like it the song is building to another dynamic climax, the heated fire of passion unleashed a smouldering and senses singeing glory. The song ends by crying from its rooftops with soaring vocals and dramatic rhythms surrounded by an electrified energy and wired guitar invention. It is a fiery ending to a powerful track and the perfect lead into the best track on the release.

Mon Reve is aural addiction at its richest, a mesmeric and imaginative weave of enticing harmonies, sizzling guitar play, and stomping rhythms. At times it reminds of Lost Prophets, the band scorching the air with further impressive and energetic melodies. The quieter aside mid way initially stops one in full romp but is so well crafted and fluid going into and out that it only enhances an excellent song for the fullest pleasure.

The release is completed by The Story Of Alaska Pt. 1 and Control. The first has a slightly reticent entrance, its opening presence heartfelt yet haunting and speaking from the shadows of the song. Eventually it emerges into the light turning in to a stirring and slightly agitated pleasure, emotion dripping from every syllable and passion drenching every note. The closing Control is just a feisty little devil of a song, its contagion and energy irrepressible yet again dramatically powerful. It is a near perfect pop song, one to light up heavy hearts, shower any grey day with light, and to have one reaching beyond their dampened limits.

Alaska Campus is a band all should be aware of and with the release of When We Were Young more than likely will be. They are one of the bands destined to drive the future of indie music in the UK to greater pastures and heights, now is the time for all to climb on board with them.

https://www.facebook.com/AlaskaCampus

RingMaster 30/08/2012

Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright

The best and easiest way to get your music on iTunes, Amazon and lots more. Click below for details.