Sixty Seconds on Songwriting with Harp Samuels

Take the soft croons of James Vincent McMorrow,  the cinematic atmospherics of Sufjan Stevens, and the gut-wrenching storytelling of Bon Iver, and you’ll have the essence of Harp Samuels’ devastatingly tender slow burners. With his sophomore record in the pipeline, we catch up with the Australian songwriter to find out what went on behind the studio doors…

Describe your music in five words.

Deep, thoughtful, unique, melodic, and vulnerable.

What’s the story behind forthcoming album ‘Breathe’?

I lost my Dad last year right when I was in the middle of promoting my debut album ‘Wanting.’ I decided to go home to Melbourne, and I was feeling a lot of tension/ grief and all kinds of stuff. I wanted to put those feelings somewhere so I turned to music and art, initially purely to process what I was going through. It’s about tension, closure, new chapters, and our relationship to the eternal.

Is there a song on the album that’s particularly close to your heart?

The song ‘Closure in C’ (an homage to Canon in D) was played on my Dad’s piano, and the reason is that my family is going to sell it, so I wanted to write/ perform a piece on it as an act of closure.

You’ve said there are a lot of ‘easter eggs’ in the project. Can you give us an exclusive on what to expect?

The track listing is in alphabetical order and the amount of tracks (9) represents in-completion. The songs and project have been carefully named, and are designed to flow as one 30 minute themed musical project.

Follow Harp Samuels:

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/harpsamuels

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/ 0MuUQctpxfdFva4QH0wdYw

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/ UCoRtZZOUcN_uUOj63fa9RUQ

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/HarpSamuels

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

Website: www.harpsamuels.com

 

 

Mosaic take a trip to ‘Rio’ with new pop driven track.

From Guildford to Rio, Mosaic are adding their stamp to the British indie-rock circuit with their track ‘Rio’.

Based in Newbury, Mosaic are throwing it back to the party anthems of yore and providing a contemporary take on sounds that any indie veteran will recognize.

The bouncing rhythms and linear guitar melodies will instantly be recognizable to fans of the Arctic Monkeys and Bloc Party, combining the two influences for that synonymous garage-rock aesthetic.

What makes ‘Rio’ more relevant than it’s predecessors is its lyrical content, which contains stories within university settings, making the music not only more original but more relatable to its audience whilst making the songs less romanticized and more personal.

Craig of Mosaic’s vocal style is also rather unique within the genre with it’s higher register and almost has a Bret Anderson of Suede texture to it, which is a welcoming change to the over-accentuated and stylized vocal performances that are stereotypical within Indie.

Whilst ‘Rio’ does try to put its own mark on British indie music, the song sounds too familiar within the genre; indie veterans are going to feel at home when listening to the tune. However, you are not going to find anything too abstract here for those looking for something new.

Overall, ‘Rio’ is a welcoming addition to the Indie circuit and does its job in keeping the genre relatable to new and upcoming fans whilst keeping the customary bouncy rhythms and guitar melodies.

‘Rio’ is out now, you can keep up with Mosaic on their social networks below;

Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/mosaicofficial

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuenCiVLKdpI_cs-989bsUQ

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com_mosaicofficial

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

Website: https://www.mosaicofficial.co.uk

 

The Nave Blues attempt to ‘Possess you’ with their take on the classic blues.

Four piece Norwegian band The Nave Blues have a sound that takes what you love about traditional blues rock and alternative rock and melded it together, all apparent in track ‘Possess You’.

The blues revivalists who have already covered and released what is considered an epic rendition of Led Zeppelin’s ‘Thank You’ are showing they mean business when it comes to reviving a genre as legendary as the Blues.

Armed with the authentic instruments, the four piece have nailed a sound that is both contemporary and pays homage to the genre. It couldn’t get any better with a harmonica player such as Nave Pundik, who opens the track with a blistering solo.

‘Possess You’ is a thoughtful blend of contemporary rock and traditional blues, though leaning more towards blues rock as opposed to delta or traditional blues. The song definitely has an alternative rock feel to it akin to Soundgarden, almost.

The song takes from the alternative sound as well as obvious influence Led Zeppelin, where the song shines is its dynamic changes, what starts of subtle proceeds to blast the listener with some catchy riffs.

‘Possess You’ also takes advantage with its mix, the raw aesthetic brings out the most in the track, particularly the harmonica solo which defines the grittiness that is accustomed with Blues Rock.

Overall, ‘Possess You’ is a great track that blends both traditional blues rock and alternative rock into a familiar package, whilst not shying away from showing off the sound that The Nave Blues have crafted.

You can keep up to date with The Nave Blues on their social network links below;

https://open.spotify.com/album/4PjTCsYQH7Nu1dsSczZ5HK

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC6KVhYc1E4ccnMPtpvzpCQw

https://www.facebook.com/TheNaveBlues/

https://twitter.com/naveblues

https://www.instagram.com/thenaveblues/

http://thenaveblues.com/

 

The sakura are ‘In Bloom’ with Julia Mascetti’s new E.P.

From the U.K to Japan; harpist and vocalist Julia Mascetti has given a hint of what’s to be expected from her upcoming E.P. In Distance, Everything Is Poetry.

The track ‘In Bloom’ gives us a taste of what’s in store in Julia’s upcoming E.P. in the form of a dark, fantastical soundscape.

‘In Bloom’ presents us with the essence of mythical storytelling, what can be described as celtic-folk roots all the way to the soundtrack to a fantasy epic; ‘In Bloom’ sets a dynamic and paints a musical picture that inspires thoughts of mythology and legend.

Julia’s siren-like vocals over a haunting and melancholic harp creates a depressing yet captivating scenario; it’s dreary tones creates suspense in such a minimalist way, yet alongside embellishments from what sounds like bells and a stringed instruments it still retains it’s melodic qualities.

The song is essentially part melodic and part concept, with the timbre of the instrumentation it manages to balance these two sections perfectly, without alienating the listener. The change of arpeggios to sustained notes in each section add for diverse textures in the song.

‘In Bloom’ tells a dreary and melancholic story, the mixture of instruments elevate the texture and song stays true to itself throughout, I feel that some of these instruments could be more apparent in the mix (what sounds like a tsugaru shamisen, could be a bit louder) but overall, the diverse instrumentation compliments the song.

The E.P. In Distance, Everything Is Poetry is out on the 11th of November, you can keep up with Julia’s social networks at the links below;

https://www.youtube.com/juliamascetti

https://www.facebook.com/juliamascetti

https://twitter.com/JuliaMascetti

https://www.instagram.com/juliamascetti

https://tokyoharp.blog

 

 

Bristol Folk band ‘Apple of My Eye’ are set to sail folk scene with new album ‘Seven Tides’

 
 
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‘Apple Of My Eye’ are one of the most exciting acts around at the moment and they have just  announced the release of new album ‘Seven Tides’, due out 1st December.
The London lads are originally from the historic maritime city of Bristol and their songs draw inspiration from both cities and from the sea, a theme that runs throughout their second album. Their engaging storytelling style and four part harmonies explore tales of love, loss, adventure and ruin.
You may spotted the guys at a festival this summer as they played the, Tall Ships Festival Greenwich, Secret Garden Party, Wilderness and headlining Exile festival in Sheffield.
The band describe their music as “brand new old songs” and collectively generate all their own material drawing on personal experiences and carefully arranging the music on the guitar, bouzouki, violin, double bass, mandolin and harmonica.
Catch the guys live in action here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gsyM68eQux4
The bands musical talent is most certainly something to boast about, check their credentials…
Kit Massey (Violin) and Phil Cornwell (Bass) are both full time professional musicians. Cornwell is the musical director of West End musical “The Scotsboro Boys’’ and Massey  was formally a violinist with the Santiago Philamonia in Chile and has worked as a session musician with artists such as Emile Sande, Dizzie Rascal, Muse and Jamie Cullum. Arran Glass (Vocals and Guitar) and Alex Scott (Mandolin) are both professional Actor-Musicians and Puppeteers who perform and compose the music for a variety of theatre and television. Chris (Bouzouki), Dan (Harmonica) and Ellie Rusbridge (Vocals) are all siblings and come from a rich folk music heritage as their parents met in a folk club and still perform in their own folk band Thornbridge.
Links:
www.applesinlondon.com
https://www.facebook.com/applesinlondon
https://twitter.com/applesinlondon
https://soundcloud.com/apple-of-my-eye

Adam Protz Releases Intangible EP – ‘Movements’

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Hailing from St Albans after a period of studying in Sheffield, Adam Protz has had several years to perfect his craft of composing. Using delicate piano melodies and intricate instrumentals, Adam Protz has created his beautiful EP ‘Movements’, consisting of four alluring and exquisite tracks. In the past, Adam has written music for films, animated shorts, a dance show, an educational DVD and even a brewery documentary!
Watch his latest video for ‘Movements’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vS41YT2sxZ8
Protz has been writing music since the tender age of fifteen and began his journey into music writing heavy rock songs with soft orchestral bridge sections as a contrast, this developed into a desire to write for Hollywood movies. However, after listening to minimalistic meditative piano music, written by the likes of Ludovico Einaudi, Adam soon discovered that he was much more suited to creating emotive music in which he could incorporate his own personality and spirituality.
The lack of lyrics in the music leaves it up to the listener to interpret the piece as they wish. It provokes an emotional reaction and is also incredibly relaxing. The ‘Movements’ EP is proof that lyrics aren’t a necessity to provoke powerful sentimental thoughts
Protz aims to inspire relaxation and offers the perfect setting for escaping to through his music. A firm believer that the world is over-obsessed with Smart-phones and social networks, Protz encourages listeners, from all walks of life, to return to the roots and escape with him into his musical world of beautiful, elegant minimalism.
‘Movements’ is due for release on the 30th November.
Keep up with Protz here:
http://www.adamprotz.com/
www.youtube.com/adamprotzmusic
www.facebook.com/adamprotzmusic
www.soundcloud.com/adam-protz
Twitter – @AdmProtz

Live Review Cody Pennington with Si Cranstoun at The Borderline

Nestled in the heart of Soho, I found myself at a small club that seemed very reminiscent of a dive bar. Posters littered the wall and the floor was a bit…sticky. It was great. I had come to The Borderline for a chance to experience Cody Pennington in person. Once the lights dimmed, he stepped onto the stage wearing his normal snazzy getup composed of a waistcoat and tie, purple shoes, and slim fit jeans. He plugged in his acoustic and introduced himself, “Good evening everyone, I’m Cody Pennington, and I’ll be starting this show out tonight.”
He started the gig with two songs from his newest EP, “To Be Me”, I’m Afraid and About Love. Gently playing the opening riff to I’m Afraid, he slowly quieted the crowd to the point of hearing a pin drop. He created an intimate atmosphere that only an acoustic and vocalist could achieve. To which he followed-up with About Love. This track was a change of pace and got the crowd tapping their feet. Very somber lyrics hid behind this happy melody and it was true story-telling at its best.
Carrying on with the upbeat-ness, Cody introduced the next song as “one we would recognize.” The kick drum pounded, while he accented the down beat with a harmonic. I had no idea what this song was until he began singing. He started the first lines of the popular song Royals, and it instantly got my attention. He morphed this song into a spawn of Rock and Pop, building up the song and bringing down the house in the chorus.
Mr. Pennington continued with a few more covers of very noticeable songs, to include Your Love by The Outfield and I Can’t Make you Love Me by American singer, Bonnie Raitt. Both incredibly emotional performances that completely pushed Cody’s vocal range to the tip-top, and that is pretty far. My jaw nearly dropped at the note Cody went for (and GOT) in the second half of Your Love.
To close the show, Cody blew the crowd away with his version of Dirty Diana by the late/great Michael Jackson. This song kept me interested from beginning to end. The crowd shared the same sentiment as they erupted in applause after his final note. This song is actual planned to be released as a single along with a music video, so be sure to look for that.
Cody Pennington only took 30 minutes (albeit not the ENTIRE 30 minutes) to swing my judgment on whether or not I would like him. From a first-person perspective, I must say, I’m a fan.

Highly anticipated Fjokra EP ‘Thoughtsteps’ arrives June 9th

Versatile Irish songwriter looks to build on a growing reputation with brand new release
Influenced by a list of genres and artists taking in classical, metal, funk, jazz and more, Fjokra is an artist who is nigh on impossible to pigeonhole.
Born in Dublin and now living in London, he is a multi-instrumentalist whose music takes in so many different ideas and angles that to tie him down to one genre or style is a fool’s errand – just as it seems you have his sound sussed, a new idea will come and slap you in the face. And that’s just the way Fjokra likes it.
You can see the video for EP track ‘Infinite Loops’ here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5FrW1UyVyY
‘Thoughtsteps’ is an EP that tantalises and astounds. With the album name, artwork and musical content designed to demonstrate alternative, free and independent forms of thinking, the varied style is all tied together by the consistent high quality of the recordings. Even more impressively, the EP is primarily self-produced but for one track from producer Donald Clark (Guns ‘n’ Roses, Muse).
It’s little wonder that Fjokra counts Mick Jones (The Clash), Duran Duran, and Beardyman amongst his fans – and this range of musicians gives you a glimpse into the wide audience demographics the music is connecting with. Peanut Baines of the Kaiser Chiefs put it his own way, labelling Fjokra ‘sex music for metallers’.
With a fan base that is widening thanks to a unique live show (performed with his eponymous band), Fjokra has already graced the stage at Beach Break Festival and Liverpool Sound City. They also performed at a very special concert which saw Tyondai Braxton (of Battles) premiere his new orchestral piece ‘Central Market’ – a truly inspiring experience for the band. And now, with ‘Thoughtsteps’ only a few weeks away and a slot at the Isle of Wight Festival this summer, he is using that inspiration to fuel his forward momentum.
And if you’re still not convinced that this is an artist with a unique approach, then perhaps his unusual approach to promoting the EP will help. In addition to releasing the songs and music videos, Fjokra has also recorded for each track a cookery show, punning on the song titles from the EP. Due to be posted on YouTube and fjokra.com shortly after the songs themselves are released, the tasty teasers will make this EP a truly multi-sensory experience.
Also, keep your eyes peeled for acoustic versions of the EP tracks, recorded in a guitar shop and due on the Fjokra YouTube channel soon.
‘Thoughtsteps’ will be available from June 9th.
Links:
www.facebook.com/fjokraofficial
www.twitter.com/fjokra
Instagram: fjokra
www.youtube.com/fjokra
www.soundcloud.com/fjokra

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.

Canadian Sensation, Lukay, to Release New Single ‘Dance With You’

Lukay is an accomplished singer-songwriter, dancer and producer from Canada who, following his overwhelming success with his previous release, is now set to release ‘Dance With You’ on November 11th.

ImageFrom an early age, Lukay’s father (also the maestro of the local church choir) made sure Lukay was surrounded by music. At the age of ten he taught himself to play bass guitar and by fourteen he was appointed “Music Director” of his local church band and after not making the school basketball team when he was sixteen, Lukay decided to return to music, his first love.

After finding success as an award winning songwriter, receiving his very own Gold Plaque from EMI Canada for the song ‘Yalla Habibi’ for fellow Canadian superstar Karl Wolf and collaborating with award winning producers like Will Baker and Dark Child, Lukay decided it was time to write his own music. In 2011 Lukay officially released his first single ‘I’m In Love With Music’ which gained positive feedback from the Canadian Billboard Charts in their August 2011 Newsletter and by SOCAN P&M magazine in March of 2012. Not only did he catch the attention of the charts and magazines, ‘I’m In Love With Music’ also caught the attention of top radio stations such as Virgin Radio, The Beat and NRJ Montreal as well as numerous others. In May 2012 Lukay was nominated for three awards in the Montreal Hip-Hop Awards, winning ‘Best R&B Artist Anglophone of the Year’. After smashing the stage at Olympia Theatre of Montreal when opening for the Grammy Award winning legends- Boyz II Men show at the Grand Prix weekend in Montreal, Lukay’s fan base did nothing but expand as he was greeted with thousands of people singing along with him.

Lukay’s bouncing new single ‘Dance With You’ is a catchy, upbeat song with an infectious chorus. A gentle yet bubbly introduction leads you into the first verse which exhibits Lukay’s incredibly strong, versatile vocals while the video exhibits his fluid ability on the dance floor. The single entered the Canadian Billboard Chart Top 40 and peaked at no.16 (now at no.25) on the Billboard Emerging Canadian Artist chart. Most recently, Lukay has been named the Bell Media Radio’s Emerging Artist of the month for July. His single is playing on all the top commercial radio stations from coast to coast.

“Lukay, you are a triple threat. A singer, songwriter and dancer and you’re great at all of them.” – Virgin Radio

Watch the ‘Dance With You’ music video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vrmXk3HV5Ro

www.lukaymusic.com

www.youtube.com/lukaymusic

www.twitter.com/lukaymusic

www.facebook.com/lukaymusic

www.instagram.com/lukaymusic