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

Canada’s answer to Earth, Wind & Fire; Crack of Dawn are revitalizing the classics.

Not many artists can say they’ve outsold legendary acts such as Earth, Wind & Fire, except for Canada’s own Crack of Dawn who are back with Spotlight, featuring a collection of classic tracks.

With other titles such as being the first black band to be signed to a major label (CBS) as well as being picked up by Otis Redding’s producer, Crack of Dawn were anticipated for bigger things, though word from them remained quiet… until now.

Returning with a selection of re-recorded classics from the band as well as some new tracks, Crack of Dawn’s Spotlight is an authentic return to the classic funk and soul sounds of their era.

The overarching theme of the album seems to be nostalgia and sentimentality, what Spotlight does exceedingly well is maintain an authentic sound throughout; it does not do anything out of the ordinary and the album is actually not that adventurous – and that’s fine.

For funk fans, there is something for everyone, from the strong Stevie Wonder vibes on one of the lead tracks ‘Booby Ruby’ to the falsetto vocals on ‘Keep the Faith’ that allude to a sound similar to what the Ohio Players had on their album Honey.

The album opens up strong with the classic and unmistakable funk sounds, ‘Crack of Dawn’ does a great job in laying out what the band is capable of, from the jazz inclined funk virtuosity to the soaring synth melodies and strong bass grooves. The first four tracks of the album maintain that uplifting funk quality as seen with their contemporaries, what Spotlight manages to capture in the earlier parts of the album are different flavors of funk from their era, ‘Somebody’s Watching’ features almost a 1970s “cop-drama” tonality to it with the wah-heavy guitars with a catchy descending riff during the chorus.

Halfway through the album with ‘It’s alright’ changes the pace with an authentic funk ballad that heavily enforces the theme of sentimentality and nostalgia throughout the album. The theme reaches its pinnacle with the track ‘Ol’ Skool’ which sounds like it could have come straight out of the late 70s, the track also pays homage to their contemporaries through the years within the lyrical content, ‘Ol’ Skool’ comes across as a a labor of love and defines the bands mission.

Whilst the album remains authentic to its sound and doesn’t deviate from its purpose, its biggest flaw is the length in which the album tends to latch on to the sentimental ballad sounds. Tracks five through to nine are all sentimental ballads with only slight variations on how they approach the stereotypical funk-ballad sounds, and whilst the dynamics of the album are thoroughly consistent, by track nine the ballads become exhausting, despite how well they are crafted. With only one track left of the album there is very little opportunity to pick up from where the album started.

spotlight

Click here to check out a review of the title track ‘Spotlight’.

‘Changes’, the final track finally picks up the pace and invokes a big finale to the album, bringing it back to the big, groovy funk tracks that started the album and brings a full circle to what the band can do.

Spotlight is a great album because it’s an authentic return to funk. In a time where experimentation is key to surviving in the music world, it’s nice to hear something new and modern that throws the listener back to the 1970’s and the dawn of funk. Spotlight is not adventurous and doesn’t do anything out of the ordinary, and that’s okay – because it’s a nostalgic throwback to the times where they outsold Earth, Wind & Fire. It’s the bands opportunity to reminisce the good old days.

You can keep up to date with Crack of Dawn and purchase the latest album by following their social network links below;

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoNzxEP5sJc

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

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

Website: https://www.crackofdawn.ca/

 

 

 

Elsiane unleash their brand of alternative-pop

Canadian alternative pop duo, Elsiane are releasing their experimental masterpiece, Death of the Artist on 21st April, but the new record is anything but.

If anything, this record from the talented pair is a ‘rebirth’ as opposed to a death, their  3rd album since Elsiane’s inception in 2000. Despite their varying musical backgrounds, Elsieanne Caplette and Stephane Sotto have come together to form a vehicle for their alternative tendencies and Death of the Artist is arguably their best work to date.

You might assume that any act’s dream is to sign for a major label, but having dealt with one and realising that many simply try to mold artists into something that ‘sells’, Elsiane threw in the towel, deciding to release their record independently instead.

The band’s 2007 debut album revealed them as one of the hottest acts in Canada, whilst their sophomore release Mechanics of Emotion confirmed this. However, difficult times lay ahead for the pair, who struggled with the music lifestyle, separating as a couple, and almost as artists. Fortunately for us alt-pop lovers, Elsieanne and Stephane reunited to give us Death of the Artist.

With a sound akin to Massive Attack combined with Kate Bush, Elsiane are creating some music that you should definitely check out.

Links:

http://www.elsiane.com/

https://www.facebook.com/elsiane

https://twitter.com/elsiane

https://www.instagram.com/elsiane_official/

https://soundcloud.com/elsiane

https://www.youtube.com/user/vaporous07/videos