Useless Cities - Stay EP

October 30, 2016
Useless Cities are a band that seem to have found their identity and wear it on their sleeves. Uncomplicated and gloriously atmospheric, the songs rise and fall with a grace that is alien to most people’s idea of an indie band, but this is definitely where they belong. Shades of Echo and the Bunnymen, Radiohead and even Snow Patrol can be heard throughout.

Track 1 is the title track and starts with a piano before everything joins in and you find yourself swaying and nodding your head in acceptance of the sound. There are two main parts to Stay and both of them have you captivated in their individual brilliance. Each time the instrumental part comes back, it builds just a little bit more so the change to the vocal section is emphasised.
Second up is Follow which has a hypnotic guitar part supported by solid bass and drums. Again this builds up to a wonderfully complex sound with every element contributing to the finished product. Last on the EP is To Be Ruined but it doesn’t ruin what is a great way to spend 10 minutes. Once again it starts all nice and calm but this just lulls you into a false sense of security before the sound drowns you in a wave of epic proportions – what a way to go.

Useless Cities are a band that you should search out. Currently playing in and around London but I don’t think it will be long before they are on their way to a venue near you.
Have to give this a 9 out of 10.
 

A Day In Helsinki - Guiding Lights For Broken Bones EP

October 20, 2016

When was the last time you listened to a new band and just thought “Wow!”? For me, it was the first listen of this EP. A Day In Helsinki sound like they are some weird collaboration of James and The Killers – think James “Strip Mine” album and The Killers “Hot Fuss” minus the synths. 

The title track is first up starting with a jangly guitar which is swiftly joined by a second guitar and a vocal that is on the verge of desperation. This all builds up to a wonderful chorus wher...


Continue reading...
 

Matt Watson - The Endless Shipwreck

October 19, 2016

The Endless Shipwreck is Matt’s second album and it isn’t difficult to pick out hints of his influences when it comes to music. Believe me, I thought there was a hint of The Wonder Stuff in some of the songs before I read the Erica Nockalls was the violinist. She is an artist in her own right but also performs with Miles Hunt/ The Wonder Stuff. There are also hints of The Levellers, which isn’t a massive leap from TWS, and in one track, I’m sure there’s a splash of Stereophonics.

I...


Continue reading...
 

Shield Patterns - Mirror Breathing

October 19, 2016

Mirror Breathing is the third offering from Manchester-based duo Shield Patterns. Their debut album, Contour Lines, was released by Gizeh Records in 2014 and was followed up with an EP release last year. There is an extremely organic feel to the entire album with some synth-led interludes which leads to a highly enjoyable listen. Gorgeously haunting vocals and sensual cello, clarinet and piano parts are all wrapped up in a synth and percussion parcel delivering an ethereal experience.

It wo...


Continue reading...
 

Max Cowley - For The Cause

October 14, 2016

Max is a singer/ songwriter from the Isle Of Wight who clearly has a passion for what he does. A lot of thought has gone into the instrumentation and the light and shade created in the song. While the track starts with a short swell, it quickly settles into electronic pop which could easily have been transported from a Savage Garden album.

A relentless hi-hat taps out a kind of morse code rhythm for everything to work around and there are some gorgeous little piano parts that weave in and o...


Continue reading...
 

Supporting Angel Families - My Angel

October 14, 2016

A song which tells a tragic story which is all too real for some families – the loss of a child and, in particular, a baby. The song itself is a simple affair with acoustic and picked guitar and keyboards which are very sympathetic to the scene that is set. Quite rightly, the focus is on the lyrics which tell us of the connection between a mother, father and child even before birth and goes on to point out the things that will never be experienced that every parent should be able to have in...


Continue reading...
 

Gaz Bailey - Untold Road

September 24, 2016
This is Gaz's debut single and will be released on 14th October. Keep an eye out for Gaz in the coming months because he seems to have a knack of writing catchy, singalong choruses. And Untold Road is certainly no different with a simple acoustic guitar, a bit of percussion and some excellently crafted violins. There is definitely a nod to The Beatles but I can also hear a cross between David Bowie and Richard Ashcroft in the vocal style and let's be honest, if there are 3 artists to be influ...
Continue reading...
 

Robinson and the Fourhighers - "Steven Whitehead"

September 20, 2016
If you don't know who he was, Steven Whitehead was a man in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the song describes, he was bludgeoned to death by a thug at his place of work. 

The song starts with a beautiful finger-picked guitar which certainly reflects the early influence of James Taylor but I feel it is slightly overpowered by the violin and harmonica, but it sets the scene. That said, once the intro has passed and the story begins, the guitar is a vessel on which the words can float - an...
Continue reading...
 

CJay - Quid Pro Quo

September 19, 2016
In October, the debut album of a widely unknown singer/ songwriter will become available to the general public. I have been granted early access to the finished article and have to say I am quite optimistic about the future of this guy. He won't be ridiculously famous or appearing on the main stages of festivals but I hope to see him on the main stage of smaller festivals and also perhaps on the smaller stages of the main festivals.

At first, there appears to be a lack of production - hints of...
Continue reading...