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/

 

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/

Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Uno Prism

At a time when originality in the music industry feels like it has hit an all-time low, Uno Prism is smashing the mould into smithereens, starting with new single “Into Place”. Uno Prism is Emma Welsby, a classically-trained Scottish musician now settled in Manchester. All this is set to change with Uno Prism’s ravishingly stylish nu-jazz-inflected electronica, combining Emma’s vibes expertise with bone-rattling bass rhythms, sweeping cinematic strings, gossamer-like vocals and electronic thrums. we caught up with Emma to find out about the process behind her songwriting.

What is the meaning behind your pseudonym ‘Uno Prism’?

It’s called Uno Prism because I am one person with this music in my head, and I need other musicians with skills to direct to make my vision in my head, a reality.

What’s the narrative of your song, ‘Into Place’?

‘Into Place’ that I’m releasing is about being in a relationship with someone who you think can give you everything you need, you try, you think you’ve got something awesome, but it keeps breaking.

What was your inspiration to create music?

I had a broken heart back in Jan 2016, I wrote some tracks to get me through the end of the winter to fill that empty ‘void’ you get when you are newly single but right before I was left by my partner and wrote this music, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a lifelong condition with no cure. Music is my escape, a perfect place for escapism from the stresses and strains of everyday life not only for me, but for others too.

What is one of your achievements that you are proud of?

I made it to the finals of BBC Fame Academy bursary grant awards years ago to be in line to win £32,000.  I got through 20,000 applicants into the last 20, and then took a trip to fame academy house in London to film the final that was aired on either BBC 1 or 2, I can’t remember.

Words: Alice Webb

Follow Uno Prism here:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCES3I1I3C7hkYCs_KcaJQ-w

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/unoprism

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

Website: https://unoprism.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/

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/