Embracing her Celtic Roots, Emily Jean Flack Releases the New Sound Of Electro-Folk with EP ‘Throwing Shapes’

Through bridging the traditional sounds of her homeland in Ontario to those of her current home in Limerick, the new EP ‘Throwing Shapes‘ from Emily Jean Flack is perhaps her most accomplished work to date – showcasing her gorgeously pure vocals and the Celtic music she was raised with, whilst injecting cool electronic textures to create a genre-spanning mix that defies expectations and delivers on every level.  Produced by Belfast native Peter Wallace, and mixed by three-time Grammy Award winner David Bottrill, ‘Throwing Shapes’ also features guest performances by two Irish folk stars, whistle and flute player Brian Finnegan from the band Flook and guitarist Marty Barry.

“Although I come from a traditional instrumental folk background, I’ve always listened to so many other styles of music. And my own music has always been more personal, more modern and more contemporary. Being in Ireland is wonderful in the sense that it’s so culturally rich, but there is a ferocity and sense of independence within the music. It’s not cute or quaint. It’s quite raw and organic. Ireland has offered me an environment to openly make the music that moves me”

Harnessing an impeccable musical lineage as the daughter of Denise Flack – a member of the groundbreaking Celtic-pop band Leahy, Emily Jean Flack grew up immersed in traditional Irish music and dance. Emily cites her mother as her main influence and inspiration, with her family experiences being what has given her both an undeniable stage presence and an aptitude for performance. Her first public rendition was at an Irish Ceilidh near Peterborough, Ontario where she sang “Katie” by Mary Black, accompanied by her aunt on piano. Despite this being a small performance, this clearly had a profound effect of her maturing musically at an early age, and she had been quoted as saying that this moment felt in some small way that she was following in her mother’s footsteps. Her love of ceilidhs and festivals meant that her eventually uprooting to Ireland was a transition was one that was both effortless and empowering.

Through honing her craft while studying for a Masters in Traditional Music at the University of Limerick, vocalist, songwriter, musician and dancer Emily has spent her life surrounded by music and musicians, but has always harnessed a keenness to express her influences in a way which was entirely her own. Despite the dynamic and joyous feel to her music, there is an inherent degree of heartbreak behind the veil, which emotionally, allows the tracks to feel more wholesome and real. With the spirit of the Emerald Isle permeating her material, Emily also incorporates jazz, pop and Americana influences to create a sound that she describes as progressive folk. Lyrically, the concept of love is explored in all its various forms, with all of her songs coming from a degree of personal experience – Love is hard, love is beautiful, love is worth the fight.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/emilyflackofficial/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilyjeanflack

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/emilyjeanflackmusic/?hl=en

Website: www.emilyjeanflack.com

Indie-Folk Virtuoso Mark Shepherd Contemplates ‘The Grand Scheme of Things’

In some aspects, Mark Shepherd’s musical career may appear to be in reverse. For those whom ‘The Grand Scheme of Things‘ EP (produced/engineered by Chris Pepper at Saltwell Studios) is their first introduction to Mark Shepherd’s work will soon understand the depth and emotion which impact on both his music and his lyrics. Through his original brand of thought provoking indie-folk, his strong and distinctive vocal style is complimented by powerful and melodic guitar, through which listeners will quickly understand the depth of emotion that has reckoning on his work lyrically and musically.

Having had been handed a record contract with Lamborghini Records at the age of 18, progress unfortunately stagnated when the company went bust. While venturing along a ‘normal’, but successful, trajectory in his working life, a longing to encourage his undoubted musical and creative talent has driven things full circle. What ensued was a heartfelt determination to push things forward from the triumphs of his previous EP ‘Bad Man‘ (produced by Pete Brazier at Vertical Rooms). As well as featuring on Cambridgeshire’s BBC Introducing and a host of community and online radio, he also has an impressive resume of playing famous venues in London, Manchester and New York.

The EP offers the listener two distinct paths, with both electric and acoustic versions of each of the four tracks, the perfect choice for an artist whose music is all about mood and story-telling. While the overriding subject matter of the tracks touch upon themes of regret, loss and aspects of a more troubling nature, he has stated that his lyrics left intentionally ambiguous in order to allow his audience to apply their own interpretation. Opening with the title track – a song which brings together elements of Paul Weller’s strongest solo work and the more introspective songs of Tom Petty, this is a look at the culmination of someone’s life and questions and what it means to have made a difference – asking if making a positive impact on a small number of people isn’t just as worthwhile as grander gestures.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3eBq0mItukX32dvU3QySCo

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/markshepherdmusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/markshepherdmu1

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/markshepherdmusic/

Website: http://www.markshepherdmusic.co.uk/

Introducing The Scaramouche of Sunbridgewells – Even Seagulls Swoon for The Captain of the Lost Waves

Setting sail from dockside, tales have passed from lip to cheek of The Captain of the Lost Waves  – a celebration of the renaissance, an exemplar of all things Vaudevillian, embarking on his voyage to redefine labels of artistic expression. While dropping anchor at the likes of Glastonbury Arts and Edinburgh Fringe, The Captain’s absurdly engaging live performances have mesmerised and captivated crowds. As a fluid performer, transitioning between musician and storyteller, the journey is wildly outlandish, deliciously bonkers and has witnessed expressions distort from the rigid and terrified to the joyous and amiable.

Starring in his very own folk opera, little is known about his true Earthly origins, but the man behind the persona resides in the shadow of the not-so-coastal plateau of the Peak District, and from there he has embarked extensively taking his show to audiences who are then transported aboard his mystical voyages. Delightfully inventive, undoubtedly eccentric and impossible to characterise definitively, after a brief introduction in his guise indicative of an intergalactic time detective, so begins his splendid deliverance.  all of which are encouraged to be sung along to.

The premiere for the video of ‘Uniforms’, the first single from the album Synthesis, will be held right in the heart of Bradford’s historic trading quarter in Sunbridgewells, showcasing the Edwardian charm of footage shot at the New Beehive Inn. Whether hopping aboard for the first time or looking to set sail once more, we’ve been offered a perfect opportunity to delve into the mystical otherworldly-ness of realms so often consigned to the shadows.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/2eMXY1pFGHO20S02fCNF5e

Youtube: www.youtube.com/captainofthelostwaves

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/captainofthelostwaves

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/CaptainOTLW

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/captainofthelostwaves

Website: http://www.captainofthelostwaves.com

Roxy Music, Tom Waits and Rodgers & Hammerstein Go Camping in France with Bill Magill

Concepts centred around jovial get-together in bars easily conjure certain images of bawdy behaviour, highly-charged raucousness, but most of all, togetherness. Last Night at the Ha-Ra is a ‘rock-drama’ concept from American songwriter Bill Magill that is centred around the tales and revelations of a group of regulars of the Ha-Ra bar in sunny San Francisco.

Similar to the kind of characters you might discover on classic Tom Waits albums from the early 70s, this record carries with it an honest feeling of camaraderie – people banding together and sharing their innermost while exploring deep emotional themes such as how far one is willing to go for the woman they love, and even a heartfelt exploration of assisted suicide.

Firstly having recorded the demos for each track in his home studio, Magill then shares the tracks with Vivid Stage Productions – whom he is the creative force behind alongside keyboardist David Dower and also Russell Cottier the North West UK based production specialist who also worked on this record.

Firstly having recorded the demos for each track in his home studio, Magill then shares the tracks with Vivid Stage Productions – whom he is the creative force behind alongside keyboardist David Dower and also Russell Cottier the North West UK based production specialist who also worked on this record.

Now hailing in Aix-en-Provence, in the south of France, the American born Magill, has assembled musicians from Britain, France, America and Australia to flesh out the reality of the narrative – each of them bringing something of their native influence to enhance the record. As well as Magill’s core band at Vivid Stage, a host of invited guests such as Pete Thomas – drummer for Elvis Costello and the Attractions and Daniel Mille – the award-winning French accordionist, have contributed.

Vivid Stage

Having now lived in France for over 8 years, the record has a distinctively French flair to it and also features vocals in the language from his significant other. Nuance and diversity are real strengths of the recording, and little details such as authentic sounds of glasses being ‘cheers’d’, which were recorded at the actual venue, lie at the heart of its essence.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/billmagillmusic/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bill.magill/

Website: https://billmagill.com/

A Scotsman, An Italian, a Frenchman and Two Tap Dancing Sax Players Walk into a Bar…

Having settled across the waters by a remote region in the shadow of the Pyrenees Mountains, Fergus McKay and his band, Nothing Concrete have fought to escape the furore of high living and encapsulated a lifestyle that epitomises the unconventional. In terms of their songwriting, their self imposed isolation – rejecting technology in favour of home-grown living – has transcended into a philosophy of inclusion; a sanctuary of community that encourages creative space and freedom.

While busking his way across Europe solo for many years, Fergus has absorbed the experiences on many and has woven them in neatly as source material into his songs. In times that followed, and several personnel changes later, the line up now sounds akin to the set up of a bad joke including; a Scotsman, an Italian, a Jewish percussionist, a Frenchman and a brace of tap-dancing saxophone players.

This music comes from a place where cabaret isn’t a novelty, and live music is a focal point for entertainment. The vibration of each note that emanates is as organic as where they were created. With the track recorded in an abandoned barn, and each member balancing the life of touring with raising their children, they embody a self-affirming lifestyle. This has yielded a synergy of acoustic led folk with 1930’s jazz that hybridizes both freedom and struggle.

The story of the track itself details the vantage of an ‘Old Black Crow‘, surveying a group of renegades on the run. This, in turn, feels awkwardly familiar to the vantage of the listener. From this perspective, the make-up of the numbers seems as bohemian and unconventional as the instruments they play.

 

Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/fergus-mckay

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3TpvO9BbsFcP0MOJAO0Cwg

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urs0Moqiq-s

Facebook: www.facebook.com/nothingconcrete1      

Twitter: @bandolinofergus

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fergusmckay/   

Website: www.nothing-concrete.com         

Three things you didn’t know about Son of William

Since Mancunian duo Son of William burst onto the scene, they’ve been wooing audiences with their stock-in-trade slow burners. Though the band is in its infancy, each member has had an illustrious career, previous. Here’s three things you didn’t know about Ben and Hayley Williams.

  1. Ben’s previous musical life saw him sharing stages with the likes of Simply Red and Chic, whilst also receiving plaudits from Grammy Award-winning producer (Coldplay) Ken Nelson and go-to drummer, Steve White (The Who; Paul Weller)
  2. Hayley has forged her own path to success, achieving platinum sales in both Sweden and Norway.
  3. The pair found themselves as tutors to each other after a chance meeting. Hayley and Ben exchanged lessons on vocals and guitar respectively, before forming Son of William.

Follow Son of William:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-691338436/dear-old-acquaintance/s-5Ybu8

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzJkbWowXtI4ZCr6pqo7Mfw

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SonofWilliamMusic/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SonofWilliam_

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sonofwilliammusic/

Album Preview: Slim Loris transform pain into pleasure with ‘Wild & Untamed’

An artist’s ability to transform personal pain into sonic pleasure is often their greatest asset. A band that know a lot about that process is Slim Loris. Formed in Sweden around 2009, the band comprises of singer/bass-player Mattias Cederstam, guitarist Robert Barrefelt, drummer Jonas Ellenberg and singer/guitarist Leon Lindström. Their earliest releases veered towards to the darker side of life, both lyrically and musically- and that doesn’t even account for the darkness that was manifesting off the record.

This article was originally published on Lightning Nation, continue reading here.

Can We Please Take A Minute To Laugh At Trump?

Music and satire have always gone hand in hand, and ‘Satan’s In Heaven’ by Cholesterol Jones is no exception to this rule. In this video for the times, our favourite US president Donald Trump is shown sporting a lovely set of goats legs, devil horns and trident, a look that suits him a little too much…

Check out the video here: Watch the video to “Satan’s in Heaven” here: https://vimeo.com/237889231 

Jones’s track is a great blues number decorated with catchy, authentic guitar licks that weave in and out of a beautiful blues organ. The focus here is the lyrics and the message though so get your best political activist boots on and join Jones in his quest for a true democracy!

It’s refreshing to see someone say exactly what they think in these times of over the top political correctness and molly coddling of peoples precious opinions, especially when they’re doing it through music so keep up with Cholesterol Jone’s and his revolution here!

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/cholesteroljones  

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6k7mwh5t1p771vkWad10KY

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_FUIRHFOjIPFNoQbgeBv_Q?view_as=subscriber

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CholesterolJones

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/CholesterolJone

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cholesteroljones/

Website: https://cholesteroljones.com/

 

 

Kalibé – The Sounds of Planet Earth

“a place where musicians from very different cultures and backgrounds play music which, though perhaps alien in origin, comes together to create an almost overwhelmingly life-affirming sound.”

It is with great pleasure I get to write about Kalibe, a singer-songwriter from Brazil who sings straight from the heart, producing some of the most beautiful, traditionally inspired music I’ve heard in a long time.

Check out “Tudo Gira” here…

Though the production methods are entirely 21st century, Kalibé’s music is created by skilled musicians from all corners of the Earth: instruments from across Africa, Persia and South America blend effortlessly together, whilst the singers bring together languages as seemingly disparate as Indian, Hebrew and Amazonian tribal dialects with ease.

On the track “Aldeia”, the sounds of the rainforest are underpinned by Tuvan throat singing, an ethereal female voice drifting between the two; on “Punu-Punu”, India Mãe da Lua’s vocals carry a traditional melody of the Brazilian Kamayurá tribe through an achingly beautiful and trance-like fusion of plucked African kalimba and flourishes of guitar. These combinations may look on paper as though they’re artificially forced, but the transcendent joy of the music is taken to new levels by the meeting of cultures bound by universal emotions and experiences.

Check out the album Mãe da Lua and keep up with Kalibe here…

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/6Jt6cYg3W1OX7iPNrwt7MG

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWHlGNnczHrTPGC5S2Hd7CiFJLe9AG6S4

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kalibemusic/

Website: https://www.kalibemusic.com/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

if JohnlikeJohn then I Like John

JohnlikeJohn might well be my favourite new discovery. He’s witty, sincere, poetic and kind of cool about it.

His new EP entitled ‘Vegans Are Evil Too’ sums up his brilliant commentary on human existence before you’ve even heard a single note. So far the only glimpse at the full EP we’ve had is this exquisite live video of John and his band playing the beautifully judged ‘I am scared too’. In this it is clear that every word comes from the heart and that he loves what he’s doing. JohnlikeJohn’s brilliant sense of humour also shines through as you hang on every word, epitomised in the line ‘I’m an Aquarius but thats bull’. Think Tom Waits, Elvis Costello, John Cooper Clarke.

Of course, the video showcases his brilliant songwriting, simple chords, simple melodies but together in a very endearing way. With the help of his female backing singer the song has some beautiful harmonies popping in toward the end. The talents of him and his band is obvious however their great personalities also show as they run around town having what likes a great time.

Watch the live version of ‘I am Scared too’ below

Follow JohnlikeJohn
Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/JohnlikeJohn/
Twitter – https://twitter.com/johnlikej