Toby & Pip Bring Joy with ‘Little Lady’

Being the muse of two musicians must be nice. It must be nicer if those two musicians happen to be your parents, too. That is the case for married duo Toby & Pip’s daughter, the inspiration behind their single, ‘Little Lady’.

For those of you who enjoy smiling (masochists, ignore this), this tune should be right up your street. With the ukulele, AKA the instrument that indicates happiness in films, at the driving helm, it’s hard not to feel a grin make its way across your face. Little Lady’s lyrics tell the story of the parents’ young child, and brim with optimism. 

It’s definitely cheesy – there’s no running away from that – but what’s wrong with a little cheese? Especially on such a touching and personal subject, leaning in to their overtly positive outlook is nothing other than a selling point for Toby & Pip.

If you’re a fan of Passenger, The Shires, or not feeling sad (again, masochists pay no mind), then I can safely say that this song will brighten up your day. The accompanying video, where one second of every day of their daughter’s life has been brought together with the song that was inspired by her, feels very much like a full-circle project. It makes a lot of sense, all of this. And that, I would think, is how Toby & Pip might feel about their Little Lady.

You can follow Toby & Pip in the following places:

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Instagram: @TobyAndPip

TikTok: @TobyAndPip

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZcYWoZhSCl237VNJSf&g

Words by PJ Kimber

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Sophie Dorsten is our incredible Weekly Wordsmith

At just 18 years old, Sophie Dorsten is a singer-songwriter talented beyond her years.

Sophie begun her ventures into music at the age of just 9, performing in a band alongside her brothers playing bass guitar and singing.

Aptly-titled band ‘Sophie and the Boyz’ performed together for 3 years, an experience that introduced Sophie to the world of music and live performance.

But all good things come to an end, Sophie explains…

“The little band broke up and I taught myself guitar and started writing songs. I wrote and recorded my first EP when I was 13 and have not stopped.”

Sophie Dorsten has been honing and perfecting her craft ever since, creating an acoustic-pop sound that is a pleasure to listen to.

Our first introduction to Sophie was through her single ‘Tomorrow’. An easy listening tune featuring Sophie’s ethereal vocals, beautiful harmonies and soft pianos.

The track is a must listen, see for yourself.

“I wrote ‘Tomorrow‘ about the unknown of what tomorrow brings. For me it was because I was a senior in high school (yes, I’m a 2020 grad!) and I didn’t know what to expect after graduation.

As it turns out, none of us knew this all would be happening, and I feel the song has taken on a new meaning because of Covid. ‘I can hardly breathe now, how do I breathe Tomorrow…’ defines the song; we do not know what tomorrow holds…but it’s alright, it’ll be ok.”

So what’s next for the talented Sophie Dorsten?

“I have been using this strange time of no shows to write and paint (art calms me and helps me re-focus.) I have several songs in the works and hope to be going back to Nashville to record them as soon as possible..

..I am also working on a music video for ‘Tomorrow’ on my own – the original plans were changed with everyone in quarantine, so I made a new plan and I’m trying to finish that.”

This incredible songwriter has already made her mark on music at the tender age of 18.

With plenty more music in the bank, there is so much more to come from Sophie Dorsten.

Find, follow and support Sophie.

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Written By: Jessica Rowe

Joseph Bell is our next Weekly Wordsmith

We’re super excited to be bringing you our next Weekly Wordsmith feature on the incredible Joseph Bell.

Joseph Bell is an eccentric singer-songwriter, inspired by weird and wonderful legends such as David Bowie and Kate Bush.

Bell fuses a classic acoustic style, with innovative electronic elements to create a truly original sound and tone to his Music.

Our initial introduction to Joseph Bell was his single ‘Dancing Days’, a smooth acoustic track featuring bright guitars and Bell’s softly rough vocals.

Listen to Dancing Days HERE

We were fortunate enough to catch up with the talented Joseph Bell to find out a little more about ‘Dancing Days’. He comments-

‘I actually wrote the first version of ‘Dancing Days’ about two or three years ago. It was about feeling like I’m never doing enough, spending time with my friends or enjoying life when I should be spending more time doing music.

I’ve only started to accept that you can’t force it and it’s better to enjoy life than putting too much pressure on yourself! Working on the song helped me relax. Earlier this year, I had a session with Tsatsamis, who produced the track.

I’d struggled to find the right production for the song, but he had some amazing ideas so we recorded the guitars and went from there. Then we finished it over lockdown – I rewrote the chorus and recorded the vocals in my bedroom!’

If there’s one positive thing to come out of the recent global pandemic it’s the influx of incredible songs, written, recorded and produced whilst the world shut down for a few months.

Dancing Days is one of these songs, emotive yet smooth the single is the definition of easy listening. The perfect track to soundtrack a slow Sunday afternoon and definitely one to pop on your favourite playlist.

So how does Joseph Bell go about creating such quality tracks?

“The process is pretty different each time! I’ve recently started writing over beats a lot more, but I still write most of my songs on guitar. Sometimes I come up with an idea on my laptop and then transfer it to guitar, or the other way round.

Sometimes it’s a sound or a sample that gets things going. I usually write the music first and the lyrics after that, but I think it’s important to keep the process fresh.”

With the full Dancing Days EP due in October of this year & a new single in September, there’s plenty of exciting things on the horizon for Bell. 

‘I’ve got so many songs hidden away but it’s about finding the right people to help bring them to life too.

There’s a lot of people I’d love to collaborate with – I’m planning to start DMing anyone I like who comes up on my Spotify playlists! I’m really trying to make as much music as I can right now and keep improving.’

Check out Joseph Bell’s song recommendation HERE!

‘Anything from the new Another Sky album ‘I Slept on the Floor’. It bangs. I especially love ‘Tree’ and ‘Fell in Love With the City’. The whole album is amazing though, epic vocals, dreamy guitars and really intricate production.’

Find, Follow and Support Joseph Bell

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Written By: Jessica Rowe

Faith and Glory: Italian Fingerstyle Master Gabor Lesko’s Glorious New Track Recognised By Jazz FM

Gabor Lesko has had a very successful career as a session musician in Italy (playing, producing and arranging several soundtracks for TV and film) as well as writing guitar tutorial books published by Carisch, an Italian publisher. He’s also established a solo career as a musician in his own right!

Fingerfusion Project is his latest album and it’s a demonstration of his insane talent as a writer and guitar virtuoso. It takes on elements of Jazz, Prog and Rock, bringing them together effortlessley. One of the tracks from the album ‘Faith and Glory’ made it as Jazz FM’s ‘Track of the Week’ recently.

LISTEN TO ‘FAITH AND GLORY’ ON SPOTIFY

Gabor and his band skirt on the edges of jazz highlighted with some brilliant sax courtesy of Eric Marienthal, but ultimately take more of a progressive approach with moving time signatures and fluid chord structures that keep the listener on their toes. 

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‘Italian Fingerstyle Master’ Alberto Lombardi Releases Epic Acoustic Ballad Inspired by Dante’s Inferno

“Italian Fingerstyle Master” – Acoustic Guitar Magazine

“The record is killing, such great musicianship!”– Nile Rodgers

“Acoustic Maestro…thrilling acoustic work. The Italian ace deploys his immense technique to serve the song, not the reverse” – Pete Prown, Vintage Guitar Magazine

Alberto Lombardi’s latest single ‘Start Again’ is an intense single with lyrics pulled from some of the most beautiful lines of the Italian poet Dante’s Inferno. Dante imagines that Ulysses sails to unknown shores with his men, instead of going back to Itaca, leading them beyond the pillars of Hercules where the world was believed to end. His speech to persuade them to endure the challenge is a literary milestone and shines a light on the human soul’s infinite capabilities.

Ma per seguir virtute e canoscenza”  [“we were born to pursue virtue and knowledge”]

LISTEN TO ‘START AGAIN’ ON SOUNDCLOUD

‘Start Again’ is a rich, epic ballad with revelatory guitar work and powerful lyrics about a fresh start after overcoming challenges, reflecting some of the most beautiful lines in literary history. Coupled with a superb video, it shimmers with the timeless sound of bands like The Eagles and a Sting-like vocal, whilst feeling completely contemporary.

Alberto Lombardi has already built a huge fan base with his expressive guitar playing and rich songwriting, including celebrities like Chic’s Nile Rodgers and legendary engineer Bob Clearmountain (Bruce Springsteen; David Bowie; Rolling Stones).

WATCH THE ‘START AGAIN’ VIDEO HERE

‘Start Again’ is taken from the forthcoming album, Home, which is currently available to support via crowdfunding here: 

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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‘.

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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.

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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

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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.
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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:
‘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:
Or watch a live session:
He will also be releasing his own single ‘Would’ on January 20th 2014!
 
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