Vickers Vimy have released their new single ‘Mermaid Of Luna Park’, the second single off ‘Atlas Of Hearts’ album and follows hot on the heels of RTE Radio 1 playlisted single ‘Keep Your Eye On The Road’. Hailing from Mayo, Vickers Vimy craft songs that dwell on the borders of folk and Americana. Rich eclectic sounds anchor lyrical themes of scratched vinyl nights and hazy Sunday mornings. Vickers Vimy have collaborated with Colm Mac Con Iomaire (The Frames & Swell Season) and had the pleasure of recording in the studio of Nick Seymour (Crowded House). They had the amazing fortune to support the late John Martyn and have also supported the Hothouse Flowers, Maria Doyle Kennedy, and Mundy. They have shared the RTE Music Train with Christy Moore, Paul Brady, Kodaline, Lisa O’Neill and Jack L.
‘Mermaid Of Luna Park’ sweeps in with golden warm tones and delightful melodies. It’s a wholesome little ditty – pure, honest and true with luscious pop elements richly blended into Americana-esque hues. The buoyant rhythm bounces along at a sprightly peppy pace while bright saxophone blasts and organ jingles fill the track with a warm-hearted goodness that is just sublime. Vickers Vimy swirl some psych-ish features in there too, as winding keys add a dash of obscurity between the opulent twangs and Celtic glimmers. These guys flesh out their sound beautifully with a meticulously crafted layering of each melody, instrument and genre- taking their time, building it sweetly and delicately to create the most beautiful honey drizzled balmy number. The smooth vocals glide upon the catchy sway-able melody elegantly. It’s a laid back vibrant gem that holds a steady positive pace which is so infectious you almost crave to hear the song again. The jazz feel is the icing on the cake and really displays the subtle splendour of this band. It’s a charming track that warms and nourishes your soul.
You can catch Vickers Vimy live at:
June 2nd House Concert, Limerick
July 6th Roisin Dubh, Galway
July 13th McCarthys, Dingle
Watch the video for ‘Mermaid Of Luna Park’ below
Brand new Irish band Billow Wood (formerly known as Flat Out) are a male/female four-piece who fuse their unique brand of instrumentation with multi-vocals and harmonies. Billow Wood are influenced by Irish and mainstream music and are now moving in a new direction often accompanied by a bass and drums, creating their own unique brand of folk, indie, pop and rock.The band have had a whirlwind of success with outstanding performances across the globe including Ireland, Europe and Africa as well as residency in Raglan Road, Orlando. They have also already performed in Indianapolis and the Irish Heritage Centre in Cincinnati as well as the ” Sláinte Asso” festival in France. The band consisting of Mark O’Donnell on fiddle and guitar, Harry Lawlor on Harp and guitar, Ciara O’Donnell on Bodhrán, flute and whistles and Bríd O’Donnell on accordion recently released their debut EP ‘Can You See Me’ to a sold out EP launch in Whelan’s Dublin.
‘Can You See Me’ is a five track collection brimming with warm, hearty melodies and glorious harmonies wrapped in a tight bow of rich vibrant instrumentation. From the magical twinkling harp opening of ‘Turn out the Light’ it fast becomes apparent this four piece know exactly where to place each instrument to fill out and lushly layer their tracks. The songs flood and surge with affluent textures and heart warming glows while maintaining a folky bounce and energy. The elegant ‘Two Doves’ uses tender harp glitters between cosy fiddle injections while the shift between female and male vocals adds a refreshing contrast throughout.The sweet harmonies blend flawlessly and so perfectly creating a sublime melodious quality that makes their tracks easy to listen to. ‘Hello Hello’ once again buoyantly springs with pure heartfelt passion and joy while filling you with homely vibes.The tracks are filled with that proud to be Irish charisma that is home baked, wholesome and authentic without becoming too cliche. Their tender songs such as ‘The Game’ are sweet, delicate and graceful as strings swoon and glide while guitar sways and the gentle drum taps create a sturdy backdrop for the immaculate vocals to float above. It’s twinkling starlit beauty and waltz ready which showcases a more fragile and sweet side to Billow Wood. ‘Dreamland’ closes the EP with an upbeat rhythmic hop while a pop drizzled melody sprinkles a bright infectiousness onto the folky traditional backdrop.
Billow Wood have created a collection of tracks that warm the cockles of your heart. They surge richly diverse soundscapes into each aspect of their songs to create a wholly satisfying listen. Admittedly folky, traditional flavoured tunes are not my usual cup of tea but this EP was so richly flavoured it was a delightful listen.
Stream ‘Can You See Me’ below
Singer/ songwriter and guitarist Brendan McMahon has released his newest album ‘On This Fine Occasion’. His incisive and insightful song writing combined with his eclectic vibe blends a variety of genres. Ranging from rock, pop, country, celtic, folk and blues he says he is not trying to fit to one particular genre; his new album is a fusion of them all. Hailing from Melbourne, Brendan McMahon discovered his love for music at the early age of ten. With the intentions of starting a band, he released his first album ‘Falling To Earth’ under the moniker ‘Satellite Gods’. Discovering his creative nature and natural flare for recording, a second release immediately followed before completing his recent third album ‘On This Fine Occasion’. With influences like Harry Manx, Richard Thompson, Queensryche and John Mellencamp, his style offers an uplifting blend of rock through to folk. The lyricism of the tracks portray a narrative with inspirations taken from simple objects through to his extensive travel experiences. So far in his career, the Aussie musician has worked with artists such as Bob Spencer (Angels), Peter Maslen (Boom Crash Opera), Wilbur Wilde (Ol’55), Dave Leslie (Baby Animals), Danny Spencer (Jimmy Barnes), Brett Kingman (James Reyne) and more.
‘On This Fine Occasion’ is a collection of tracks which blends a variety of multi genres seamlessly to create a sublime absorbing listen. From the anthemic folky tinged tracks like ‘Alive’ with its soaring powerful arena ready choruses and the whistle friendly cheery ‘Hotel Hemmingway’ with its warm vibrant instrumentation to the rock and roll doused darkly hued ‘Doctor’ McMahon keeps each track fresh and enjoyable.The jingly tunes bounce along with a good wholesome feel and a purity which the folk elements provide. ‘Marker 7-58’ is an utterly beautiful track packing oodles of emotion while guitar twangs lament over a sweet delicate melody and subtle percussion.It’s stripped back and tender. The story telling and lyrical development in the album is superb and thought provoking. The tender moments in tracks such as ‘Mother’ are passionate and embracing and the vibrant peppy moments in tracks like ‘Esmeralda’s Eyes‘ are warm motivating and mighty. ‘Gentleman Joe’ is another tender little gem. It’s raw and intimate with spaced out components that make each fragment an emotional moment you feel and experience as the track progresses into a powerful anthem. However it’s ‘Beat’ that really stands out for me. This track marks a shift in the album with a steamy guitar whine and funky groove. It’s ready for the strutters with its dance floor swag. The guitar solos shred with a glossy sleekness while funky keys add a jazzy element to this panache soaked track. ‘Home’ is a glorious way to finish the album. Lush backing vocals introduce this elegant number with a choir like soothing quality. When the main vocals kick in this track just calms and soothes the soul with its comforting wholesome melody and light bright instrumentation. A soft beat taps behind zesty sprinkles of guitar and velvety vocals creating the perfect summers evening backdrop. The sharp guitar injections add a sun speckled positivity through the sweet lamenting of the melody. It’s a beautiful cosy end to an album which takes you on a journey of genres in the most charming heartwarming way.
Stream ‘On This Fine Occasion’ below
Goldkey is the musical alias of New York artist Mike Horn. Working with producer Ben Rice (Norah Jones, The Candles, Queue, Daughter) at Degraw Sound in Brooklyn, Goldkey has crafted tunes that are one part indie pop, one part indie folk. His first single ‘Mountain’ was featured on Spotify playlists Tune Core The New, Indie Mono Indie Folk. Goldkey followed this release with the driving psychedelia of ‘What Am I Supposed To Do?’, which led to dates supporting artists Eighty Ninety, Elliot & the Ghost and a headline appearance at the 2017 Official Jeff Buckley tribute concert. He will play summer 2018 festival dates and select North east dates in support of his upcoming single ‘Faster’, to be released March 2.
‘Faster’ oozes a beautiful dreamy glow with tender heart-warming emotion. With delicate instrumentation of twinkling guitar and richly soft vibrant drum rumble this track is true, pure, wholesome and just sublimely charming. With a sweet melody caressed by Horns’ luscious velvety vocals and honeyed guitar twangs it just warms your bones and soothes the soul. It’s passionate, fragile and a cosy track to hold dear. There is something very special about this little gem.
Stream ‘Faster’ below
Luna Tides have released their new single ‘Young Laws’. Established in early 2016, Luna Tides is the creation of lead vocalist and acoustic guitarist Thomas James, and drummer and backing vocalist Sion Walsh. With the flip of a coin, the band’s name was decided whilst demoing their first EP, Open Woods, taking influence from the bewitching Welsh coastline. Later in the year, the trio was completed by electric guitarist and bassist, Rhys Plaister. Celebrating the release of the Open Woods EP in November 2016, the band held a packed out release show at the renown Clwb Ifor Bach in their home city, Cardiff. Encouraged by the overwhelmingly positive response from national media, the band set out onto the road in January 2017, supporting the likes of Toploader & Hunter and the Bear as well as playing a multitude of festivals across the country.
‘Young Laws’ is a highly passionate emotive track, this trio are ready to paralyze listeners with their dramatic and intense folk-rock/ pop. It’s one for the chanting crowd as they pound their chests with the blood pumping beat and adrenaline rushing rhythm. With warm guitar jingles throughout, dynamic vocals, lush harmonies and a meticulously layered sound Luna Tides have created a track that is rich, snappy, earthy and wholesome. With a chorus that is powerful and anthemic they pack oodles of energy and might into a short spirited few minutes, its impressive. It’s an invigorating wholly satisfying listen.
Stream ‘Young Laws’ below
Folk singer-songwriter George Simpson has announced the release of his highly anticipated new single ‘Finding Myself’. The single comes after a short break from the music scene after releasing his first 2 successful albums, which received support from BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine, Graham Norton and Clair Bolding. Surprisingly, music came late for Simpson who picked up a guitar at the age of 17 and didn’t begin performing as a solo artist until the age of 27 after performing as part of a couple of different bands in the meantime. After experimenting with different genres, he soon settled on a country folk style after being inspired stylistically by Sky’s ‘Nashville’ series. The male-female duets heard in the series specifically sparked an interest for Simpson, which lead to his newest release ‘Finding Myself’. Influenced by the likes of James Bay and Jason Mraz, ‘Finding Myself’ is a story of Simpson’s first ever relationship with specific lines throughout the track reminding him of particular moments. The song reflects on the point in a relationship when you begin to feel that things are no longer working and its time to decide exactly what you want and which direction to take. Recorded as part of a collaborative process, George described the writing and recording as a fairly straightforward process in which all parties involved creatively contributed to the single.
‘Finding Myself’ is a beautifully melodic track filled with warm guitar beaming through a foot tapping beat, swayable melody and glorious harmonies. It’s sweetly delicate yet oozing passion and heart warming emotion. The melody is supple and deliciously sing along sweet. With melancholic tones filling the track with tenderness it’s a charming little ditty. Though the sombre tones and elegant piano twinkles add a sweet sorrow to this track the luscious vocals and peppy guitar strums supply a warm almost cheery luminosity and positivity. It’s a sweet little pick me up that adds a nice bit of sunshine into your day.
The accompanying video reflects the simplicity and the meaning of the song. The location, pointed out by featuring female vocalist Kezia, used to be a buzzing business and is now left a shadow of what it used to be, with the original wildlife dying around it. ‘Finding Myself’ is set to be released on 23rd February and will be available to stream and download via all major media providers. The release will be supported by a number of live shows, to stay up to date follow George Simpson on social media here https://www.facebook.com/georgesimpsonmusic/
Stream ‘Finding Myself’ below
The Ree-Vahs! are a North East UK folk collective from the borders of Durham and Northumberland. They have recently released their third offering ‘Man Overboard’ which is a tribute to founder member and songwriter, Paul Lee, who tragically took his own life in May 2017. Acclaimed for singing in authentic North East accents, The Ree-Vahs! deliver fresh folk songs about love, life and loss, depicting stories from the former mining and steel towns of the North East borders. After releasing their first album back in 2014 and their second in 2016, both achieving critical and commercial success, the band follow up with ‘Man Overboard’ which is named after a home recording made by the late Paul Lee several years ago. After writing and performing together since their teens, band members and brothers Andy and Paul wrote the album prior to Paul’s death. Recorded in Liam Gaughan Studios, Newcastle, ‘Man Overboard’ features heartfelt lyrics and warming folk instrumentation throughout, with some songs addressing social issues and some dedicated to family members.
‘Man Overboard ‘is brimming with warm melodic tunes that glow like a hearty fireplace on a winters day. From the first guitar twang of ‘Pack Your Bags’ this EP floods with mellow melodies drenched in melancholic tones with light twinkling guitars and soft comforting beats. It’s a pure wholesome collection with oodles of passion. The violin melodies are sweet and delicate adding a tender tear jerking elegance. ‘Stronger Than Me (No Binary)’ is a simple little ditty where the vocals exude so much emotion it takes all the attention. Lush backing vocals coo while airy guitar flickers add a nice buoyancy and feathery light texture to this beautiful track. ’Sing Our Songs In The Dark’ lifts the tone of the EP. Becoming more vibrant and rich rhythmically. It’s a track to wisp you away into a joyous positive dance. It reminds me of a track that could feature in a Disney movie when the main characters are experiencing the beauty of life or successfully building together their plan to stop the big bad. The warm brass feature rushes vibrancy and triumphant cheer into the track while the sing along bridge is instantly likeable and catchy. ’Under The Wheels’ returns to that camp fire sweet sway ready vibe with banjo twangs delicately lamenting behind strong passionate lyrics. ‘Jigsaw’ adds a bit of swagger and a mysterious sultry vibe to the EP with darker guitar melodies while ‘Go See’ closes the EP bright and animated. The honest lyrics narrates the stories of peoples harsh lives while a chummy sway ready chorus evokes images of people coming together hand in hand. It has a sense of positivity contrasting the lyrics.
The Ree-Vahs!’Man Overboard’ gives an honest account of life put to music filled with positivity and hope. Their warm instrumentation is wholesome and pure and their choruses infectious. It a passionate collection of tracks that are soul fulfilling and satisfying.
Stream ‘Man Overboard’ below
Last Race Home are an Indie, Acoustic band consisting of members Denis Ferrige (Lead Vocals, Harmonica and acoustic guitar), Steven Otoole (Backing vocals Lead Guitar), Jim Corry (Drums), Phil McCardle (Backing vocals and Bass Guitar), Stephen Greenhalgh (Trumpet) and Donna Jevens (Backing Vocals) and formed in Manchester. Their style ranges from beefy foot stomping tunes, hard bitten northern melancholy and uplifting anthems with bold storytelling lyrics. The band have recently released their new single ‘Whiskey & Roses (Revolution Radio)’ a track about the death of a radio station in Manchester.
‘Whiskey & Roses (Revolution Radio)’ is a melodic number smothered in melancholic tones and a tender sweet melody that tugs hard at the heart strings. From its subtle twinkling guitar intro this track warms the cockles of your heart. With passionate easing vocals teamed with a sweet catchy melody its instantly likable. The track builds becoming more passionate with trumpet injections lifting it and adding a triumphant warmth and vibrancy to the song. The lush backing vocals harmonise perfectly while a rich foot tapping rhythm drives the track with a punchy spring and infectious buoyancy. Though the tone is sombre this track manages to maintain a peppy lift and glowing reassurance that will have you bopping along in no time.
Watch the video for ‘Whiskey & Roses (Revolution Radio)’ below
PAPER CRANES are an Indie Folk duo hailing from the South of the Lake District. Consisting of Jon Dawes providing vocals, guitar as well as percussion alongside Beckah Lloyd lending her melodies and harmonies and acoustic bass. Their delicate, yet powerfully formed vocals are accompanied with a percussively played guitar which is dynamically reinforced by Kieran Day’s layering electric guitar, percussion and an array of sympathetically crafted sounds. Paper Cranes have released their long awaited second single ‘Lights’ to coincide with their next EP due for release early 2018.
‘Lights’ is a soft flurry of nourishing indie folk. Delicate and gentle this track is rich unadulterated purity oozing warmth and honesty from its very core. With soft guitar weaving gracefully between Dawes and Lloyd’s immaculate wholesome harmonies it’s a sincere beautiful display. With a playful rhythm adding a rich texture and danceable beat this track is a flickering thought -provoking charmer. It is so sweet and gently soothing yet lavishly layered creating a sophisticated refined sound that is luscious and delicious to the ears. The track glides with fine elegance and a feathery lightness. It’s a beautiful tender treasure.
Stream ‘Lights’ below
Formed in the picturesque countryside of the South-West, Kindred are a five-piece indie rock band formed of members Fran Crandon, Ian Scott, Helen Sayer, Ian Anstey and Clive Millar. The 5-piece have recently released their debut album ‘Our Tomorrow’, distinguishing themselves from other ‘young rockers’ by taking influence from more traditional genres like folk, which is reflected in their debut. The album is written by guitarist Ian Scott (better known as Scottie) and released on his own record label, ScottSound Ltd, and recorded at the White House Studios. Consisting of 10 engaging tracks,’ Our Tomorrow’ has already picked up support from local radio shows, particularly the track Sunset Surf, written about how it feels to be surfing that special wave, whilst missing your loved one. As well as this five, special mentions go to Heidi Neil for backing vocals and Josh Munyard who played bass on selected tracks on the album.
‘Our Tomorrow’ is a captivating collection of indie rock songs from luscious sweet melodies smothered in bouncy vibrant instrumentation – it’s a little box of light indie treasures. Its folk influences add a feathery lightness and wholesome depth to the tracks. From the first animated note of ‘She’s My Girl’ it’s obvious this album is set up with positive pick me up good vibes and spirited tunes. It’s elastic with a spring in its step peppy rhythm and jangly guitars teamed with sparkling elegant piano twinkles between the sweet melody. The soft charming vocals add a sugar-coated smoothness and delicious dreamy vibe. Naturally ‘Sunset Surf’ takes you to sunshine and sea air. Zealous stabs on guitar squirt some refreshing zest into the hazy laid-back track while a longing melody flows fluidly throughout. ‘Friend’ has a doo wop-esque creaminess which adds a touch of animation to their toothsome collection of tracks. Each song becomes more positive and elastic than the previous it’s like walking into a musical that is bursting with smiles sunshine and enthusiasm without becoming too cheesy. Those guitar lines interweaving between the melodies are sublime and add a glorious tropical radiance. ‘Moonshine’ displayed this superbly with its dazzling lustrous guitar solo. The keys in ‘Our Tomorrow’ is about as peppy and gleaming as possible yet light and heavenly. The track oozes warmth and with a well layered sound featuring meticulously crafted details placed perfectly to create a wholly unique experience that is soothing, soul lifting and pure- it’s hard not to let your spirits be lifted. With tracks called ‘Summer Days’ and ‘Free’ they have created your positive feel good playlist. Even final track ‘Baby Blues’ is a fun swinging danceable number. It’s the cheeriest bluesy jam spread generously on a slice of swagger soaked rock and roll.
‘Our Tomorrow’ is a charming collection of tracks clearly designed to brighten your day and it does that for sure.
20% of the sales of ‘Our Tomorrow’ will be donated to the children’s charity Bibic, which supports children and their families who struggle with brain related disabilities such as Down Syndrome, ADHD and cerebral palsy.
Stream ‘Our Tomorrow’ below