The Sounds of ‘Autumnal’ Tranquillity – Joshua Howlett’s Debut EP Channels the Alpine Air to the Cliffs of ‘Dover’

Despite being born in Manchester, the musical inspiration of indie folk artist Joshua Howlett is very much grounded in his Swiss base in Montreaux, where he now resides. A soulful, young and ambitions performer, he is an artist that is striving to evolve and develop without taking himself too seriously and, as such, has looked to his surroundings – the exquisite nature and historical cities of Switzerland as his creative muse in order to produce his ‘Autumnal‘ EP. With a sound likened to the likes of Ben Howard and Angus and Julia Stone, this is a record that evokes the calm atmosphere of beautiful scenery.

The EP has been noted to draw further inspiration by feelings of nostalgia about leaving the UK, which nicely introduces themes associated with autumn. In an interesting synergy between the atmospheric surroundings of the Swiss mountains, the songs all give off the feeling of autumnal reflection, evoking feelings such as change, anxiety, nostalgia and deeper states of consciousness. It’s an emotional collection of feelings – a meta-cognitive explanation of his physical and mental state at the time of composing.

As mentioned, the true reflective aspect is reflected from his surroundings with him taking heavy inspiration from nature – trees, forests, mountains, and ironically water. He has often written about water and the sea, metaphorically or otherwise, despite the fact he hates swimming and going in it. However, the poetic tranquillity of the element certainly serves its own purpose here.

Having being raised between British and Swiss culture, he has ended up being somewhere between the two. After learning guitar at an early age, he slowly began to develop his own unique style and identity that has been shaped and refined throughout his young career. From writing songs in his bedroom, with no particular intentions, this process reached its natural catalyst in 2017 when Joshua became friends with a producer from Big Fam Records at sound engineering college. Merely a day after deciding to record a song together for fun, they then decided to partner up and record music professionally.

Joshua has been noted to be somewhat shy in character away from music, but everything changes when on stage. His on-stage persona is a mixture of a soulful musician and a stand up comedian – often engaging with the crowd before introducing a song. Indicative of this characteristic, his stages have not always been traditional in their truest sense, as his live performances have taken him from a snowy chalet up a mountain to a show window in a subway station.

His debut EP, recorded with experienced live musicians who have thoroughly immersed themselves in the concept, has been spearheaded by the release of the single ‘Dover‘.

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3g0J5Gw34oA6Vn5FWCFpss

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCoXqodWqlonYD9oCwUgIk4A

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/search?q=joshua%20howlett&src=typd

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

 

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/

Manchester duo Son of William are bringing some new soul to a traditional sound.

With male and female vocalists intertwined in haunting melodies, Son of William deliver acoustic brilliance within a folk framework. It’s the twinges of soul that bleed though in tracks like ‘Colour of Love that really set this duo apart. Elements of Cattle & Cane matched with flecks of Iron & Wine create a rough landscape for the pair to draw you into their world, capturing you with hypnotic harmonies and brooding melancholy.

Reminiscent of traditional Celtic music, ‘Colour of Love’ sees the duo harmonise throughout as the chords are arpeggiated to provide subtle melodies under the vocals. Here we see that the due use their small arsenal effectively in order to create their rich sound.

‘Dear Old Acquaintance’ see the duo employ their soul side as the vocals seamlessly switch between sparing and cohesively existing. This time with short, percussive chords built the tension of the verses before we find ourselves entranced in the chorus. We are once again invited into their world and before we know it, we never want to leave.

Words: Lewis Budden | @LewisBudden

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/

 

 

 

Derek Ryan ‘100 Numbers’ UK Single Release!

Irish country star set to release his new single in the UK on 24th March taken from new album ‘Country Soul’, out now.

 Front cover of cd

Derek Ryan’s career has already been an unquestionable success. He signed to WarnerMusic at the age of 17 with his band D-Side and went on to make a multi-platinum selling record with ‘Real World’. He has also been nominated for several Meteor Awards in Ireland and has had global success with a number 1 single in Japan. Derek has already gained 3 top 10 hits in the UK, and is now looking to further establish himself  with the release of his new single ‘100 Numbers’ following the UK release of his new album Country Soul.
He commands a very loyal following of fans who have known and loved him since his D-Side days! The ‘Official Derek Ryan Fanclub’ Facebook is constantly buzzing with praise and love for Derek, along with a vibrant Twitter feed which keeps his fans hooked on his new gigs and music.
Twitter: https://twitter.com/derekryanmusic
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/derekryanfanclubofficial
The track itself is a clear nod to his Irish country and folk music roots but also has an unmistakeable pop tone too with a very hooky melody and a catchy rhythm that is hard to shake!
Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_48VtJ4sjg
‘100 Numbers’ was, like most of Ryan’s music, self-penned. The lyrics speak of being surrounded by people once he’d moved to London to continue his career, but still suffering from homesickness and missing those he is closest to. It was inspired by a tough time in his life when he was living in a bedsit in the city and desperately wanted to get back to his home in Ireland and continue making the music which he loves and has grown up with.
These feelings came despite the ‘100 Numbers’ in his phone, and there was no one who could help him shake his thoughts of home. The song is therefore a look into Derek’s own journey out of loneliness and back to his roots both musically and personally.
Musically ‘100 Numbers’ is quite layered with a number of different instruments being used throughout to give it a warmth characteristic of Derek’s music. In terms of comparison, the Westlife pop style is tempting but it has a more contemporary Mumford and Sons, Laura Marling pop folk feel to it whilst retaining a traditional flavour.

Guitar Sensation ‘Daryl Kellie’ to Release New Album ‘Wintersong’

To find your first guitar at the young age of eleven in the attic of your parent’s new house is a lucky find, but for Daryl Kellie, it can only be described as fate. Self taught for most of his life, he is undeniably one of the most talented fingerstyle guitar players in the UK, with influences ranging from Queen to Django Reinhardt. Daryl has combined his unique talent with his mesmerising vocals, and he will be releasing his highly anticipated album ‘Wintersong’ on 10th February 2014.
By the age of sixteen, Daryl was gigging every weekend, with his younger brother Nick on drums. He moved to London when he was nineteen to study music, and hasn’t looked back. Living in his van, with a bed, camp-stove and of course, a guitar in the back, this was when he really started to develop as an artist. He was even taught by Jazz guitar legend Martin Taylor. Despite attracting lots of attention from music managers, Daryl decided to remain completely independent and release his own music without the help of a label. Daryl’s message to others who may be in this predicament is “figure out what you really love and concentrate on that, if you try to do something else, your heart won’t be in it”. His ever-growing fan-base means he can also tour without the involvement of big promoters.
Daryl has toured constantly for the past 2 years and supported a massive range of acts, from Toploader to Carl Palmer of Emmerson Lake and Palmer fame, plus notorious American blogger Perez Hilton has also raved about him….”So clever! So good! And, the fact that he’s gorgeous doesn’t hurt either!”.
Here are just a couple of the many outstanding reviews he has received:
‘Daryl Kellie is a brilliant and exciting new musical talent’
– Richard Chapman, (Author of the million selling classic ‘The Complete Guitarist and ‘The New Complete Guitarist’)
‘To call Daryl a guitarist would be a bit of an over simplification. A million miles away from that guy who used to walk around college twanging his way through Green Day covers to anyone who’d listen, Daryl treats his guitar like a mix between a drum kit, a keyboard and a guitar. Utilizing an oft attempted (but rarely mastered) ‘tapping’ technique along with ‘body percussion’ as employed by fellow guitarists such as Eric Roche and Tommy Emanuel, Daryl dropped jaws with his cheeky cover of Beyonce’s omnipresent ‘Single Ladies’ and literally melted minds with an extended Michael Jackson medley. Anything that makes hearing ‘Single Ladies’ for the billionth time a little less ear-stabbingly repetitive deserves the highest praise imaginable.
–Sternberg Clarke
If you can’t wait to hear the album, Daryl is releasing a cover of the Beyonce hit ‘Single Ladies’ on December 16th.
Have a listen: https://soundcloud.com/daryl-kellie/single-ladies-put-a-ring-on-it
Or watch a live session: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t1UnylkE-LI
He will also be releasing his own single ‘Would’ on January 20th 2014!
 
Social Networks:
https://www.facebook.com/darylkellie
https://twitter.com/darylkellie
https://soundcloud.com/daryl-kellie
 
Videos:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jn3p5_dotJc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fxbx0-O8kY