With a new full length album on the way, now is the perfect time to find out what all the fuss is about with Magazine Gap. Their first album, ‘Light and Shade’, did an excellent job of showing how this trio put together a number of different genres to make their own style. And, before the new album is complete, the band have decided to release a four song funk EP in the shape of ‘Calling Card’.
Released on November 25th, the tracks have been released one by one on YouTube in the performance style of the one above, for title song ‘Calling Card’. If you like what you’re hearing, and what’s not to like, you should check out the band’s website for more information.
Flaming June are perhaps one of the quintessential independent folk bands in the UK at the moment. Having won awards with previous releases (including FATEAs 2011 best EP award for ‘Nerves of Steel’) and supported some of the great and the good of UK folk, their reputation for thoughtful songwriting and fairy tale infused folk has seen them go far.
New EP ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ picks up where previous EP ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ left off, albeit with added musical instruments and new layers. Thematically though, this remains a great example of how to combine pop melodies, folk sensibilities and story telling into one lovely package.
See the track above, ‘Freedom’s Fairytale for Girls’, for more proof – and head over to www.flamingjune.co.uk too.
Having found huge, worldwide acclaim as part of dance music powerhouse Faithless, multi-talented performer Maxi Jazz is back with a new band and a new sound.
The band, The E-Type Boys, explore a different side to Maxi’s musical personality. Inspired by the funk, soul, reggae and jazz genres, this is a darker sound in many ways, utterly compelling throughout. Knowing Maxi Jazz’s background in full on dance only makes it all the more intriguing.
There’s more new music coming in the New Year, but in the meantime Maxi Jazz and the E Type Boys have offered up a little taste of what’s to come with the track above, ‘Bitter Love’.
Available now on BandCamp, ‘Last of the Hunted’ is a new two track EP from folk songwriter Philip Murray Warson. The track above, ‘Following Time’, is an example of what he is all about – tight guitar melodies, a true rootsy feel and an affecting, raw vocal.
As a two-fer performer, Philip Murray Warson has played or acted at some of the top venues in London and New York. However, it seems, based on this evidence, that his song writing has very much hit his stride since he started out in 2014.
If you’re a fan of folk music and haven’t heard for Folkstock Records, then prepare to make an exciting new discovery. The independent label specialise in all things folks, and have got a lot of praise over the years for the talent they have uncovered.
Perhaps the most hotly tipped of these artists is young folk songwriter Kelly Oliver, who heads up their new compilation album ‘Downtown’. Out now, the album pulls together some of the top artists currently on Folkstock’s roster, and offers them a great introduction as part of a top package.
But that’s not all – the album is being released as a precursor to two huge gigs Folkstock are promoting as part of the London Folk and Roots Festival. Labelled as ‘Emerging Artist’ showcases, they take place at London venue The Islington on November 4th and 11th.
Previously known simply as Carmel during an 80s run of singles which hit high in the charts, Carmel McCourt has returned with the two tracks above as her first release in over two decades.
Backed by a new band and independent label Kultura Recordings, the vocalist returns in fine voice and on good form. The production on the tracks at times lacks that slick sound we perhaps expect these days, but in its place is a raw quality that kind of suits Carmel’s voice.
A career musician who has transitioned from girl pop group Exposé into a funky soul diva as a solo artist, Kelly Moneymaker’s excellent new album ‘Stone’ is out now.
Influenced by great artists such as Aretha Franklin, Bonnie Rait and Tina Turner, Moneymaker has delivered an LP with impact, style and a whole lot of guile. Chock full of fine funky licks and her trademark power vocal, this is a release far fans of proper, old school soul music.
Beautifully disarming and strangely hypnotic, ‘Realization’ is a new video from songwriter and video creator Russell Suereth. Influenced and inspired by the spiritual side of life, Suereth has previously worked to shed light on spiritual places around the world with his YouTube channel, and now hopes to capture imaginations further with new album ‘Spiritual Haven’.
Said to ‘take the listener on a musical journey’, the LP is available now and is something of a concept album. With a through narrative stringing together the tracks, it’s a novel approach which somehow fits the genre perfectly.
The video above, a track called ‘Never Been to Memphis’, is taken from a brand new album called ‘Just a Mortal Man’ by Jerry Lawson.
With 13 tracks in total which move through a number of genres, the album is out now and sees a veteran performer on really good form. After a career as a member of groups and bands, Lawson has decided to now release some solo material, with classy results. He sings a mix of new and classic songs by a string of excellent songwriters, lending each one his indisputably soulful vocal cords.
It makes for an album which is languid and stylish without ever feeling slow. Instead, it takes its time to show just how good a shape Lawson’s voice is still in after years on the road. The knowledge that he has toured globally, singing to countless crowds over the years, gives the whole thing a sense of gravitas.
Particular songs to look out for include the prayer like ‘Time and Water’, which is swiftly followed by the gospel infused titled track ‘I’m Just A Mortal Man’. Later, ‘Members Only’ invites member of the lonely hearts club in for a much needed chat. It’s all lovely stuff, and a great demonstration of a timeless talent.
Whether you enjoy pure pop music, a touch of funk, a smidge of jazz, or simply well written songs about the state of the world today, the new album from Songs For Mr Sloane may well be your next purchase.
According to the press notes, the album seems to be the work of a ragtag bunch of excellent musicians and songwriters who spend time in the studio every now and again to see what comes of it. And, if it’s generally of the qulaity shown on album ‘It Is What it Is’ then this appears to be a great way to make music.
Keeping you guessing throughout, the album continuously rolls thoughts, techniques, styles and ideas from left field. Constantly surprising, and as a result exciting throughout, the album is a testament to independent music and the freedom it provides. Get involved.