The songs and music have so inspired me I'm going to write my own extensive poem/ode on The Silmarillion. It may turn out rubbish but I don't much care. I've been itching to express something about it since first reading it years ago. It is the one book I could never live without and I read it each and every year, without fail. After listening to Nightfall in Middle Earth I may even have to read it again this year. Check out the song Nightfall above. Thinking about it, someone should do (and by someone I wish it could be) some sweeping animations of the events depicted in the songs. That is probably the closest thing to any alternative adaptation there will ever be due to the nature of the narrative. On another note, I am so going to bring down my decent stereo from storage at my parent's place. It has rather powerful speakers (not the best but they are loud). I better issue polite warnings to all the residents in the street that when I do get the CD they can expect to hear sounds and music louder than they've ever heard before. While I'm at it I suppose I best write to the Police and the local council too. I imagine it would make a kick ass driving album too. Okay, I must calm down a little.
The cool thing is that as well as getting to play what is an amazing song, a true musical adventure with such eventful flare and originality, I've been able to play a number of favourites of mine.
- Alphabet of Hurricanes - Tom McRae
- Believers - The Levellers
- Fuel Up (4D) - Stornoway
- Gunfight - Laurence Fox
- Where We Started - Iwan Rheon
- For The Ride - Lera Lynn
- Bags Outside The Door - Blair Dunlop
- Rooks - Shearwater
- Paradise Lost - Syd Arthur
I did write a few pieces about Tom earlier this year which you can check out on the blog. I must check myself now or I'll go on writing about him for the remainder of this post. It would turn into the 'Tom Mcrae Special'. Don't think I wouldn't, either. The videos are two (of so very many) I took from the last gig I went to in 2011 when he was accompanied by a four string quartet. Just see for yourself! If you'd like to you can follow Tom on Twitter @tommcrae.
It is easy to understand why BBC Oxford Introducing presenter Tim Bearder was suspended from work after barricading himself in the studio and playing an hour of Stornoway songs from the demo EP The Early Adventures of Stornoway. Fair play to Tim for getting behind a local band in such a way! He is to be commended not suspended! I'm really excited about the follow up to the debut album so I will keep you posted about it.
I featured Laurence in a previous blogcast and just wanted to include the set he currently has up on his Soundcloud page. Do make the most of these tunes because as he is heading into the studio to record them properly I don't believe they will be available for too much longer. I read via his Twitter page a few months ago that Laurence was featured on a BBC Introducing show. Am I able to find a link? No. I'll update it here should I track it down at some point.
>>here<<). Have You Met Lera Lynn sent me on a real nice ride through the Midwest. It is packed with quality, well-written tunes and the vocals are a pure delight. The right amount of delicacy with a wonderful mix of emotion. Lera Lynn is going to be around for a long time to come so if you haven't met her yet, make sure you acquaint yourselves soon.
If you head to her website you can bag yourself a free download of two songs. One of which is an atmospheric version of Jonny Cash's Ring of Fire.
Aside from sharing the same birthday (although not the same year, sadly) that's where the similarities between myself and Blair Dunlop end. He is one talented young chap and so far the only person to have depicted actor Jonny Depp as a child (in Tim Burton's Charlie & the Chocolate Factory). In order to concentrate on the music, Blair has left the acting world behind but I'm sure if he wishes to return to it he will continue having the kinds of success he is having as a musician. Debut solo album, Blight and Blossom is released on 3rd October and you can pre-order it by visiting the link >>here<<. In addition to Threads below, there are a number of samples of other tracks up on Blair's website, that will be on the album.
He doesn't just have his own album coming out next month, oh no. In true prolific style, Blair is also now in charge of The Albion Band. He took over the job from his father, Ashley Hutchings and joins a wave of new recruits. It's kind of like The Albion Band: The Next Generation. They recently released their first album (as the new line-up), The Vice of the People. Perhaps this is why I struggle to locate my own musical talent. There are too many folk out there who are using up all the available talent and skill. I jest, of course. I must crack on with learning a few chords although I honestly won't share anything with you as all the top music I feature and cover would completely put me to shame. By the way, I think he looks strikingly like the actor who plays Jeremy in The Vampire Diaries. Although on the album cover there's a resemblance to Brett from Flight of the Conchords. Just needed to share that information.
Indeed, you are not yet free to escape as I have so much more music on offer below. I did say last time that I would attempt to make this a shorter blogcast than the last but you should know me better by now. I wasn't made for brevity. I'm surprised how I managed to limit myself to the 10,000 words for my dissertaion. The only thing that stopped me going over was the potential for being marked down considerably. I thought it a bit of a cheek placing such a restriction on it though, with how windbaggy some of those Philosophers can be. Brevity is for short attention spans anyway and something I am learning to do with my album reviews. I have the skill covered there then so I can go on and on for as long as I like here. Perhaps not as long as I like or I'll still be here writing it up at Christmas.
I must share the excitement I felt when I saw one particular email drop into my inbox last week. Win A VW Camper Van would perk you up wouldn't it? Until reading the entirety of the sentence. Win A VW Camper Van tent. I think I'll leave it, thanks all the same. While it may dupe some unsuspecting and very drunken festival goers, I don't think it would carry much weight driving up the motorway (interstate). Not unless The Flinstones really were on to something with their Yabbadabbadoooo kick their feet as much as possible to start their vehicles and go manoeuvre. There's a thing. The carbon footprint would be non-existent.
Firstly, a few courtesy of those wonderful peeps at Prescription PR who I thank for sending me so much stuff to cover. I honestly wish I could do more and at a much quicker pace but alas, it is just myself. I have tried getting the cat to help out but she just meows at me grumpily while giving one of her actually quite terrifying evil stares before plodding off lest she get a big warm hug.
This is a band with a real story. Just listen to the first single from their latest album, Moms. Astounding stuff. Not cheery, no. Cheery is boring! With an opening line like, 'Heavy are the branches, hanging from my fucked up family tree,' this is real grab hold of your heart, pull it up out of your chest through your mouth after resting as a real lump in your throat, kind of stuff. The sheer amount of sounds that the tune picks up build it to colossal heights.
Such a heavy mix is only to be expected from a band who's last album was released with an 80-page hand-designed flipbook. Creativity is in great abundance with these guys, then. Not only this, but to celebrate the release of that debut, Friend and Foe, Justin Harris assembled a 25 member choir, teaching them the various vocal layers with the help of his trained opera-singer mother. I imagine that would have been one mighty mission. What a goosebump inducing performance that must have been!
This follow up album, Moms, offers a deeply personal glance into the souls of the two remaining band members, Justin and Danny Seim. For me, as I've mentioned time and time again, this kind of 'lay your soul as bare as you possibly can', usually makes the best kind of music. Even when no lyrics may be involved. It is probably the main reason most musicians want to share their work. Those of us who can't write down lyrics to our own woes or are not able to generate a hook laden melody to express some emotional turmoil can, and do, take a huge amount of solace from the music of the bands we like.
The two guys are a contrast in terms of their actual moms. Danny's mother died when he was 17 years old whereas Justin's dad walked out on their family when he was very young. Justin has had and still does have his mom play an active role in his life. So, while it is as much about the moms of the title, the corresponding relationships they have with their fathers, was also a major influence in the writing of some of their songs.
Sadly, I've not been able to listen to the entire album yet or I would have offered a mini review of the whole. If I can rectify the situation I will try and get out a review before the release date. Moms is released on 8th October on Barsuk Records. Their European tour kicks off at the end of November so why not get yourself along to a gig near you?
I shall be whizzing away at my laptop to get a review of Melinda's EP up online ASAP following this blogcast. That is, as soon as I have finished off The Emperors of Wyoming, which I do almost have completed. Therefore please see the press release below for the Strangers EP and my own words will follow soon. With a view to reviewing (it sounds a bit of a muddle saying that out loud) I have had a good few listens to Strangers and must admit while it isn't really what I'd usually say is 'my kind of thing', Melinda has totally sold it to me with this offering.
The Mouth of Ghosts
This time thanks goes to Kimberly at Never Enough Press, another PR company sending me heaps of new music to check out and for which I am incredibly grateful.
The Mouth of Ghosts are another band recently signed up to the independent record label, Red Dragon Records, who are going from strength to strength. The band are set to release their single 'When the Sun Sets' on 29th October having already received some worthy praise from BBC Radio 6, as well as from a number of other radio stations.
A London-based quintet, it is fair to say their formation has been a work in progress, of sorts. The same beautiful quality was no doubt there in the beginning with founding members Simon Langford and Marco Italia who added Alla Seydalieva, to make a trio. Drummer Phil Page hopped on their music bus late last year before it picked up Valerie Deniz in March to complete the line-up.
Ahead of the single release, the band have a number of dates around the London area and are planning to follow it up with something not too long after. It is clear to me that they are going to grab people's attention with When the Sun Sets, so I look forward to what comes after it. Tom at BBC Radio 6 hit the spot with his description above. There's a real ethereal sound interwoven about the alternative rock and the vocals are, quite simply put, stunning! When a band can build up such an atmosphere it is a very good sign for their future.
>>YOUTUBE<< >>FACEBOOK<< >>REVERBNATION<< >>MYSPACE<<
The Icelandic band Sigur Ros are touring. Yey! I even got a chance to get tickets early as part of their fan pre-sale. Except that as with the likes of Mumford and Sons not even three different methods of trying to get tickets were successful. Sad times. Not only that, with us approaching the middle of the month already (yes that TIME features again, how is it almost the middle of the month? It was just like August??!) I'm unlikely to be able to even afford tickets now they are on general sale. Bad times. I'm so in need of seeing these guys! They're another act I've been following for quite a while. I think it was way back in 1999 when I first heard Sven-G-Englar from the album Agaetis Byrjun (ordinarily I would type it correctly complete with all the accents in the right place, but with my current technical issues I'm already running very late). The whole album enchanted me and had me transfixed. Due to such incredible demand a third London date has been added for March 2013. I'm hoping and preying there will be tickets left come payday. If not, I may have to sneak myself in somehow. Any ideas or suggestions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you don't miss out on the latest Showcase session - Pathways - Autumn 12. It is available for download now but only for a limited time. After that it will be available no more as a newer session will take its place. As ever, the playlist features a host of great emerging talent with music that really does span the genres. Therefore there is likely to be something for everyone, another reason it is well worth checking out.
Get your FREE download by clicking >>here<<. This current session will be available up until 31st October so don't delay, download it today! You see, I have to get all rhymey if you won't go and grab this for your collection, right NOW.
This Scottish indie-rock band were absolutely sensational at Truck Festival back in July where they closed the second stage on the Saturday night. Well worthy of closing the main stage, I think pretty much everyone in attendance descended on the smaller tent to catch their set. You can read my review of that via Part 2 of my Truck Festival Review but do check out the latest song being sampled at their Soundcloud page. It is taken from the forthcoming EP, State Hospital which is released on 24th September. You can pre-order it by following the links either at the band's website or via Soundcloud. With a full album due for release early next year too the rabbits have been busy and the reason for the EP is to air those songs that didn't make the cut for the album but which still need to be shared. Unable to make it to any dates on their recent/current tour (nowhere near enough, sadly) I'm satisfied that I at least got to see them perform. I will be eyeing up tickets for next year, however.
Pawns or Kings
And Finally....no really, finally....
Gun Club Cemetery - visit: http://www.reverbnation.com/gunclubcemetery
Echo Raptors - visit: http://soundcloud.com/echoraptors
And thanks to Tracy@OrderofVoices for these gems.
Order of Voices - visit: http://www.orderofvoices.com/
The Fireflys - visit: http://www.thefireflys.co.uk/
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