Friday, 9 November 2012


Hey folks. I seem to have gone a little singles crazy today. Well, yesterday actually. Apologies this post is a day late but these things have to be done proper I'm sure you'll agree. Hope you enjoy the below. Please get clicking and showing the love by purchasing those that are your thing. These bands and artists need your support, always. They really appreciate it as well and know full well that without you guys they would not be able to do this.

I'm cracking on with three mini album reviews in my bid to catch up with the backlog. Podcast #11 has gone up as you may or may not have noticed so I'll try and get on to that blogcast soon as I can too. Then there's this coming weekend of gigs galore. Saturday sees The Dreaming Spires while Sunday is my Tom McRae fix. Expect reviews of those in some form or another too. Oh and I've not forgotten about the Gilmore & Roberts gig review either. That will be up before the others. Jeez. I'm out of breath now so best get on with these singles reviews....


Derby-based indie rock band Whitemoor didn’t just throw their cards forcefully on the table with the release of their sensational self-titled debut album last year. They used a clever combination of subtle and epic alternative indie rock sounds to arrange them in all manner of intricate sculptures. The musical masterpiece that resulted should be counted as their breakthrough album, which for a debut marks a hugely promising start.
New single High Lights is a sneaky peak at the forthcoming follow up Horizons, and it is one heck of a tease. Their army of existing fans should ready the waterproofs because it will initiate maximum salivation mode for what is to come. For all those coming to Whitemoor for the first time, it is a perfect introduction demonstrating the high level of quality this band has to offer. They have an infectious vibe about them. So infectious you will pass it on to your friends and, well, anyone who’s in the vicinity when you listen to their stunningly stylish songs. If this is anything to go by, album number two is going to propel them into the stratosphere as far as exposure is concerned. This track alone would sit so comfortably on the BBC 6 Music playlist; they need to send in extra copies ready for when the original gets worn out from too much spinning.

Bursting upon the eardrums with a catchy beat, High Lights soon begins building at just the right pace. It entices you in like the promise of sweets to a child before Benny’s vocals begin working at the full range of their magic and that’s it! You’re hooked! There is no escape. More importantly, you won’t want there to be. In fact, there is so much life and energy from this track, when it does end you’ll be gasping for more before you suffocate from the loss of it. The chorus is so contagious you’ll end up singing along to it for hours after just the one listen. It really does have everything required to make it a humungous smash hit. Fast and furious punching drums to rev up the tempo, a killer bass line so precise it requires a microscope to study its complexities and a breathtaking mini guitar solo towards the end to close proceedings in true style.

Their Facebook page describes the band as being as charming as Snow Patrol and as entertaining as The Killers. I say move along Snow Patrol and adios The Killers because Whitemoor are back and they mean big business. The Horizons looking spectacular!

To help Whitemoor keep climbing the download charts and give real music a chance of some of the much needed and well-deserved limelight please purchase your copy of High Lights via iTunes for 79p by clicking >>here<<.

Alternatively you can purchase it from Amazon >>here<< for 89p.


This is the third single to be released from The Spires’ critically acclaimed debut album, Brothers in Brooklyn and it is yet another delicious, tasty treat for the ears, mind and the soul. The guys really let loose with Just Can’t Keep This Feeling In. It leaps right into a heavy bombardment of vocals and glorious instrumentals crashing, strumming and playing with real gusto. It grabs a hold of you to make sure you’re awake and if you’re not you will be quick smart!

You really feel this feeling bursting out through every harmonious nook and each melodic cranny, leaving you mopping it up gladly. It is loud, it is lively and it is coming for you! Quite literally thanks to the guys winning the BBC6 Music rebel playlist and receiving some much deserved airplay with this very tantalizing track. This is in addition to Brothers in Brooklyn picking up airplay via Xfm and Radio 2. There is also the extra song See You In The Morning with this release, which is from the album sessions. I’ve not heard it in full yet myself but with the album offering one quality tune after another from start to finish, I have no doubt of any kind it will be just as fantastic. The preview makes me want more so I cannot wait to hear it! Maybe they will perform it live at the gig in Oxford this Saturday. Now, that would be sweet.

Pre-Order you digital copy of the single and get these two terrific tracks via iTunes for £1.29 by clicking >>here<<.


Having already featured this particular release a few weeks back on the blogcast for Band of Badgers Presents #9, I won’t ramble on too much here. You can read what I had to say (write) about this single below (pasted in for your convenience). Dorothy is the latest single this Canterbury-based bunch of psychedelic indie folk fellows is releasing from their truly inspiring and wonderfully epic self-released debut album On An On. Do have yourself a good listen to the track while it is here available for streaming. Then, after the first play when the sacred sounds and luscious lyrics have touched you deeply go and buy yourself a copy. If you’ve heard it then you know it makes sense. If you haven’t heard it, what are you doing? Hit play and read while you take it in. 

On An On is a stunning debut showcasing an ability these guys have for immersing listeners fully into a complete transcendental musical experience. The latest single they're releasing is Dorothy. As with the album, this single was self-recorded at home and is being released on the band's very own record label, Dawn Chorus. Syd Arthur is independent in all senses of the word. They have worked hard to get to where they are today and they are taking the music world by storm. They have been drawing comparisons to the likes of Soft Machine, Caravan but also with contemporaries such as Wolf People and Tampa Impala. I went as far as comparing their closing track Paradise Lost to what I think sounds on the east side of Led Zeppelin. I don't think there are any other bands out there like Syd Arthur though, to be quite honest. I speak (write) of originality with many of the acts I feature or review but with these guys, originality is taken to a whole new level. And yet they capture the right amount of elements from the past like the late 60's, early 70's psychedelic scenes. 

With its ethereal and calm intro, Dorothy soon has you sucked into its own electric atmosphere as Liam Magill begins lamenting on the swift passage of our lives before the poetic lyrics hit on some further, deeper existential musings. For all the relative calmness there is chance for the eccentricity to shine as the song progresses. The keys swirl with an effortless grandeur producing sounds that wrap themselves around you to hold you in place while others are free to tease and entice. After lapping this up for a wee while, you will certainly be left wanting to hear more, which will encourage you to go buy the critically acclaimed On An On. 


Before you hit play on this one I urge you to stock up on tissues because acclaimed Irish folk singer Mary Dillon will melt your eye floodgates no matter what defences are in place. Released on 11th November to coincide with Remembrance Sunday, this single is an emotional account of the part played by fourteen year old John Condon during World War One. He was the youngest soldier to be killed during that treacherous time and you feel his life-force with every word and note of this track.

It is one of the most moving songs I’ve heard in a very long time and as deeply heartbreaking as it is, I find myself wanting to listen to it more and more. When reality makes us neglect the past, a song like this helps us remember those sacrifices. It touches us in a way that encourages us to be thankful for what such young heroes did to enable our freedoms today. What is even more haunting for me personally is last year I visited my great-grandfather’s grave at a war cemetery in Anzio, Italy. The opening lines of the song bring that day back with such vivid realism I can feel the hot summer sun burning me to a crisp as I search past grave on grave, row on row until I see the name….

Mary’s vocals are so tranquil throughout they remind me of the gentlest sounds from a harp. That final chorus with the altered line, ‘sing out for all their souls’ is delivered with such an angelic harmony, I half expected to see an angel hoard ready to sing in full chorus when I opened my eyes. This is a song that doesn’t just make you remember, it pulls you right back there to see and feel the profound sorrow and loss this war left in its devastating wake.

Following her fifteen year hiatus from the music scene, Mary releases her debut solo album North in February next year. I’ve been fortunate to get a sneaky listen and the exquisite beauty of John Condon is no isolated incident. I’ll bring you a review of the full album in January.


To wrap up just two more things. Well, actually it is me so you know full well there are many more things. Three mini album reviews for one but they will be following shortly. So let's hold back that ado-ing and get on with the further. Something like that.

Those indie-folkers Boat To Row are counting down the days until the release of their EP Loyal Light on 19th November. The excitement is reaching critical. As it is for the forthcoming tour. In celebration they are so lovely they are offering you a sneaky peak and a free song. Listen to Freedom below then get clicking crazy to download your own copy.

Finally, I wanted to just mention the release of La Femme De Fontenaille, the latest album from Trevor Moss & Hannah Lou - released on 5th November. It is beautiful and delightful and I sincerely wish I had time to write more about it here. Do yourself a favour and go buy a copy. You will not regret it!

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