Archive of ‘folk’ category

What We’re Listening To…

Rattling round our skulls this week is Merseyside five-piece The Sundowners new track ‘Move With Time’. After their Glastonbury set on the BBC Introducing stage, the band made up of siblings and friends, begun work on new material. One of these new tracks was performed for the first time during soundcheck for their Queen of Hoxton gig in London last week. 
Their latest offering is another sneering number. It’s a slice of howling rock that begs to be heard and is guaranteed to get any crowd bopping along to their old school styled beats and frills. The riffs are gorgeous and there is not a single downbeat moment. 
In the same vein as the Fleetwood Mac inspired trio Haim. The Sundowners also contain the same qualities we could liken to the Californian descendants; however they do things a little differently, pursuing a different kind of groove, one that definitely rocks harder. Conditions are ever-changing for this band; it won’t be long before they’re playing much bigger stages at Glastonbury, and headlining venues twice the size of Queen of Hoxton.

By Lauren Wade

What We’re Listening To…

Frolicking guitars, woodsy vibes and an ethereal vocal in abundance. Heat wave aside, Canada’s Half Moon Run have crafted the hottest track around. With many indie groups politely attempting to capture the sound of Latitude Festival in their tracks, the Montreal four-piece have triumphed where others have failed.  
The folksy cascade of noise doesn’t linger, it’s dreamy, detached and delicious nature deposits you in an earthly setting. Drummer Connor Molander patters away behind the drumkit, flowing through the veins of the track. Although, working in its favour is the easy-to-learn chorus and polished vocals which are allowed to do all of the work.
 Having toured previously with Mumford & Sons, the young group have no doubt picked up a few tips on the road. Still in their early twenties, the release of their debut ‘Dark Eyes’ has seen critical acclaim on behalf of their three-part harmonies, but what would we like to see next from Half Moon Run? Perhaps mixing their raw talent with a touch of experimentation? Or would that kill their sound completely? Who knows but fans will continue to lock into their tunes regardless, just to see how far they can take it.
By Lauren Wade

What we’re listening to…

After a long and stressful week, the May Bank Holiday weekend that we’ve just had was just a treat to lie back and relax and rest a while to this melt into your skin music by Bibio. Bibio is Stephen Wilkinson’s alias, one of our own musical talents from the West Midlands, UK.

Wilkinson is an experimental and electronic music producer influenced by foreign language (as is evident), phonemes (google it), and bands like Daft Punk and Boards of Canada. The song A tout à l’heure taken from his seventh and imminent album Silver Wilkinson, to be released on May 14, epitomises the essence of summer. 
 He produced the song in his back garden on a warm summer’s day using a 12-string guitar, an MPC sampler, a microphone and a cassette recorder, not forgetting the uncommon watering can and gardening shears. His sole intention was to portray this sun-kissed moment through the sitar-like drones, folk-chilled vocals, beats and claps. 
 Here is Bibio’s official video to A tout a l’heure. We admire his use of footage of sky and fields layered with various silhouettes on top which have been inspired by the self-entitled album cover of 1960’s band Free. 

If this track lifted your week’s drudgery and you’d like to hear more of his calming summertime music then purchase his new album on Bleep, iTunes  or Amazon.

By Melodie Walter

What We’re Listening To…

The Lumineers – best known for their song used in the Bing advert (2012) – are a little leaning towards our home-grown Mumford and Sons in their style and delivery but we must confess our soft spot for them.

They’re nonabrasive and draw you in with their near jubilation that are drawn from gloomier origins: Submarines, Dead Sea, and Charlie Boy fitting for this band aspires to be folk rock and the lyrics, though a little watered down, are still moving and heart felt we feel. The jubilant trio who claim there is no err in their melodies nor lack of soul in their lyrics are Wesley Schultz (main vocals), Jeremiah Fraites (drums) and Neyla Pekarek (cello). The Lumineers are a great band and it’s hard not love the Americana style they display! 

We like their lyrical stories which transport us back to early 20th century Flappers, love affairs and war and strife (not over-weighing the hopeful romanticism of the former). They’re endearing,  likeable with substance sufficient.
Take a look at Stubborn Love from their self-titled debut The Lumineers

If you like what you’ve seen then book tickets to see them next month in the UK before they all sell out here

By Melodie Walter

What We’re Listening to…

This week we have some Ye Olde English folk for you…

Some of you may remember Johnny Flynn and The Sussex Wit’s debut A Larum (2008) – a most notable album of the time. But it is Joe Flynn or rather, when collaborating with his other half, Johnny Flynn, who fronts the folk rock band.
Not only is Joe a rather adept musician but a very successful actor – a profession that he initially pursued in his teenage years when he attended the Bedales school. He’s branched out into music equally as he has acting, in fact, he juggles both careers. Just last year he performed in Richard III and Twelf Night at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and in the West End and found time to make a ten track recording for Brian Crane’s American indie film A Bag of Hammers. Impressive for having a newborn bubba and being recently married by age 29!
Watch Amazon Love from his second album Been Listening. What a beaut.
Joe has not got any live gigs planned currently however will be releasing his third album this year. We’ll have to wait patiently for our next instalment!
By Melodie Walter

What We’re Listening To…

Lovers of legendary Canadian folk singer Joni Mitchell are in for an extra treat this week – that’s if you’ve not already heard Martha Tilston’s new album, Machines of Love and Grace, beckoning in the winter this autumn.

Tilston is not your average singer-song writer and she is certainly the first of her kind to emerge in recent years, although her music is not by any means above Mitchell.
Singing about the contrasts between insatiability of the finance world (Wall Street) and other social injustices; her lyrics express the conflicts between the modern world and the human state – but beautifully.
Who could not love her artistic style (Tilston like Mitchell is a painter) – particularly the painting for this album cover suits the whimsical resonance of her vocals with a surreal landscape of boats, travellers, clouds and giraffes.
Watch her animated music video for Stags Bellow. We imagine ourselves back in the sixties with beads in our hair and dancing around wood-burning fires – a mix of campervan living and Celtic-calls of the wild; perfect for the bohemian within.

You can buy the album from her website or download it from iTunes. She is next playing live November 08 at Bush Hall, Shepherd’s Bush in London.
By Melodie Walter

Far from the woods

An elusive voice, lovely lyrics, and a family affair – meet Emily – from Emily and the Woods. We caught up with the girl behind the guitar for a quick chat… 
So I see that you are not long out of uni – is that right? 
I graduated at the end of 2010, from Exeter university. I’d decided to play music full time when I left, so I committed myself to it then! I did work and do lots of different jobs. I know what I want to do though so the focus was always there. 
The band has become a family affair, what with your brother, Benedict and dad featuring on your EP…
Although I’ve mostly played solo or with my brother this year, I have been lucky enough to work with lots of other fantastic musicians. My dad played bass, piano and guitar on the EPs and we recorded them at drummer Roy Dodds’s studio. 
Is there anyone else in your family involved in Emily and the Woods? 
No, though my mum and sister are very supportive! 
 And lastly – How would you describe your sound?
That’s a tricky one…it’s always hard to think about your own music objectively! I am influenced by lots of different kinds of music; from folk to soul, and I’ve been listening to lots of Jeff Buckley recently. I can’t get enough of the most recent Maccabees album too! I mostly play a hollow body electric guitar which informs the sound a lot… and the live sound is growing and changing the more I play. Come to a gig to find out!
Emily and the Woods will next be playing at Jack Wills Varsity Polo in Windsor on June 09. You can purchase their EP on iTunes.

By Melodie Walter