With such a refreshingly honest focus on mental health, “Secret For The Mad” is the beautiful and haunting work of Essex-based singer-songwriter and author, dodie. Her first EP, “Intertwined” reached Number 35 on the official UK album charts in its first week of release despite its unsigned status, with her second EP, “You” (and from which this track comes) debuting at number 6.
Hailing originally from the Australian city of Perth, it is no wonder that “Crooked Colours” has such a warm and laid-back sound. Fresh off the release of their debut album, Vera, the trio are set to embark on a world tour in order to share their electronically mellow vibe. Fusing together high intensity rhythms with a soft oozing melody, there is nothing crooked about “Flow” – just a whole load of colour.
As a self-professed sufferer of stage fright, Hannah Reid (vocalist for London Grammar) has, in the past, had a tendency to shy away from touring. After a sell-out tour they are back to promote their second album, “Truth is a Beautiful Thing”, in a small series of intimate gigs. Tonight I saw them at Edinburgh’s Usher Hall – a beautiful venue with less than half the capacity of their last tour’s dates. Entering the stage with a quiet gracefulness, the Nottingham-based trio of Hannah, Dan and Dot modestly slipped into “Who Am I”. Backlit by three mesh screens, intricate projections of life illuminated their silhouettes. A gentle cascade of watery images – bacteria multiplying; mountains swaying – flickered softly and they guided us through both new and old tracks. Their stage demeanour was in keeping with their music: mellow indie pop – un-showing, yet authentic. Hannah is a lady of few words but great talent, and so the three of them took it in turns to introduce tracks with an endearing shyness and chat to the smitten crowd. “Hey Now” got a huge resins from the audience as expected, but it was during the less-assuming “Rooting for You” when Hannah really shone. Taking a seat to help her with the high notes, she angelically darted between notes like a floating dandelion head. A truly magnificent performance.
As the mothership of everything creative and wholesome lands in Abbots Ripton for the last time this weekend, it is fair to assume that Secret Garden Party 2017 will go out with a loud (and somewhat colourful) bang. Thankfully guitarleaves has you covered, and will be donning the glitter and wellies for the finale of the the greatest show on Earth, all under the tag sgp2017.
As I was doing my (somewhat unfruitful) research in order to write this post, I discovered the extent to which Seramic maintains an elusive presence. Having seen him perform I am convinced that he does in fact exist, although if I were going from Internet presence alone I wouldn’t have been so sure. Of course there is his repertoire of stonking tracks which fill the Seramic silence with a bluesy and irresistible melody, but quite who makes them is more of a mystery. Whilst this is frustrating from a journalism point of view I can’t help but admire this attitude: music should always be the focal point, and by representing himself in this way there is no choice but for this to be the case. Have a listen to “I Got You” below: we don’t know where it came from but I have a suspicion as to where it’s going – the starry skies of success.
This week guitarleaves caught up with Hull-based trio King Orange – otherwise known as Oli Witty, Leo Joslin and Tom Green-Morgan – after the premiere of their single “Fifteen” on BBC Radio 1 to discuss all things cats, Marmite and meal-deals. The full interview can be found below:
As I post this I have absolutely no doubt that this track will split opinions. Penned by Cosmo Pyke (another wonderfully-real name), “Chronic Sunshine” is a creative amalgamation of more musical styles than a record store. From the bluesy undertones of ska to soft rock, it seems he wants to pay homage to all that has been before him in the industry. What struck me when listening to this for the first few times was the sudden and unexpected switch between genres. You have to be paying attention to the subtle (and speedy) transitions if the story is to be coherent. That’s why “Chronic Sunshine” is so special – it doesn’t conform to any pre-existing musical forms and simply speaks for itself. Whether you like what it has to say is another matter entirely, but the fact that it is opinionated is definitely something to celebrate.
From time to time you need to bring your head above the water; take that cold breath of air and pause. Leave the stresses of daily life and do something completely different. Wipe away the sweat of monotony. Such is the essence of “A Place You Like” by ISLAND, a London-based mellow pop-rock quartet. Skilfully combining gentle vocals with a simple guitar riff this record symbolises a better place – a hidden oasis in which an escape may be found. Four and a half minutes of tranquility.
As a comment on Youtube suggests, five-piece “dreamy guitar pop” band Swimming Tapes may well be “the best kept secret”. Having been in existence for little over a year it is a welcome surprise to discover the level of sleekness they consistently reach in their tracks. With an air of maturity more in keeping with older bands, they manage to bring a fresh twist to a retro sound, weaving their unique stance through the equally distinct melodies and stories of each record. “Queen’s Parade” is their latest endeavour.
As I sit here typing up this post I feel like a dog who has just unearthed the juiciest bone. In fact it is a struggle to try and write something cohesive because I just want to turn the volume up and askjfiagsjaiubaid for the remaining characters. Let me introduce you to Cosmo Sheldrake – side note, real name – a musician and producer from London. Apparently he taught himself piano by ear at the age of four, a somewhat unbelievable fact until you discover that he can now play upwards of thirty instruments. I am well aware that his music (described by the artist himself as a rehash of an electric mix of sounds) may not be to the taste of the contemporary charts, but things worth listening to rarely are, and while he may have kept a low profile over the last couple of years, there are some legacies which can never be forgotten.