Paul Murray ‘Party’

Paul Murray is well known around these parts, having made many appearances around town at open mics or playing support for bigger acts, such as Steve Mason. However, he has now released a new EP of songs called ‘Party’, produced by Tim Bidwell (Lucy Rose, John Smith), and it’s up there with some of the best of the singer-songwriter genre. Continue reading

Two EPs – Tim Boat and Nik Barrell

Two new EPs have come our way and they are both well worth your time and money.

TimBoat-GetYours

First up is ‘Get Yours’ by Tim Boat, an excellent four track EP which mixes strong indie-songwriting with a prog sensibility that feels more Radiohead than Genesis. Made with friends Steve Ward and Simone Odaranile, but confusingly listed as being by the Tim Boat Two, this is a solo work with some high production values.

‘Get Yours’  is a solid finger-picked tune with breathy vocals reminiscent of John Martyn. The beat then picks up with the songs ‘Killing Floor’ (featured below) and ‘Meteor’, and finally our favourite track ‘Runaway Dog’. The songs are full of revenge, escape, mystery and you won’t regret exploring their depths.

 

NikBarrell1

Next up is the bluesy, soulful EP ‘Blues Come Home To You’ by Nik Barrell.

This is a charming collection of five beautiful songs recorded amongst friends, with gorgeous harmonies and some exquisite playing. The songs range from opening jazz ballad ‘Thank You’, through the beautiful love song ‘Her and I’, the Louisiana-soul of the title track and upbeat fiddle-driven down-home philosophy of ‘A Heart of Money is a Heart of Stone’, with its echoing sweet sing-along chorus. Finally here’s the delicate and mournful closer ‘Things we do not know’ with a lovely accompanying vocal and piano from Sharon Lewis.

Check out ‘Things we do not know’ below, from whence you can find a link to the EP’s bandcamp page,

Bella Spinks ‘Debut’

Bella Spinks has been drip feeding some beautiful songs into the internet for a few years now, with the occasional live appearances providing a tantalising glimpse of her talent. Now at last we have a proper release of four great songs via her debut EP, fittingly entitled ‘Debut’. A little bit of theatre, a little bit Kate Bush, a little bit of balladry, and an awful lot of soul. But mainly just great song-writing, music-playing and rich-warm-vocals.

Go listen here:

Nik Barrell – Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire EP

.Nik Barrell by MIke Rowbottom 2013 sq

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Nik Barrell’s new EP ‘Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire’ is a joyful affair.

Whereas most singer-songwriters tend to put their head down and head for the hills of despondency, Nik Barrell has taken the opposite approach and written five songs full of positivity and happiness. In the hands of a less skillful songwriter they could become cloying but it’s a tribute to Nik’s skills that these songs are not that.

The opener ‘Growing Peaches in Oxfordshire’ has a sunny laid back feeling, like some of the best jazz-inspired Louisiana songs, and was perhaps influenced by the fact the songs were written while Nik was on the road in America. Another song, the bright and breezy ‘New Orleans’, makes clear Nik’s tribute to the classic American songsmiths. ‘It’s Your Choice’ is a song about fixing the problems of the world, asking the listener to ‘be the change you want to be… be the one who understands… and do it right’ all over a foot-tapping gypsy-esque rhythm.

Our favourite song is the last one on the EP ‘People Are Good’ which is a refreshing contrast to the negativity that it’s easy to subscribe to if you watch too much of the news (“you’ll get the idea, that there are no good people round here” as the song says). But Nik sings that he’s travelled the world and found that people are fundamentally good. It’s a lovely feeling, and a refreshing one in this cynical age.  You can hear the song at the top of this review.

Nik has a beautiful warm and romantic voice, which makes for repeated listening. He is ably supported on the EP by James Fiddes Smith whose excellent backing vocals add additional warmth and whose mandolin gives extra depth to the accompaniment. There’s also Tim Cotterell’s violin and Mark Strain’s bass, which contribute to the richness of Nik’s gentle guitar playing.

Support Nik Barrell in making more music and purchase the CD here

 

(Photograph of Nik Barrell by Mike Rowbottom)

 

The Fiction Aisle Album and EP news

RZ9A7277esBrighton orchestral pop architects The Fiction Aisle have announced news of their debut album and EP this week. Heart Map Rubric gets released later this year on 27th November on Chord Orchard records on hand numbered limited edition digipack CD and download, with pre-orders being taken from October sometime. In the meantime the band have also shared their debut EP – a new version of Blue, which the first track they shared on Soundcloud late last year, a shimmering widescreen pop symphony. It comes with a host of remixes with British Sea Power playing up the track’s slow motion majesty, Acquaintance giving the track a balearic house twist and JØTA turning it into electro synth pop. The EP is available to download for a limited period from the band’s soundcloud page.

 

IYES / Part One EP

Sorry it’s been a bit quiet recently round here. Turns out that looking after an eight week old baby eats into the evenings that you might otherwise be able to spend listening to going to gigs, new music and blogging about it all.

Anyway, in lieu of a full new music catch up (and don’t worry – we’re keeping a list of everything we’ve been sent and we haven’t forgotten about you if you’ve emailed us), here’s some new material from IYES who have an upcoming EP entitled Part One. So far they’ve shared So Crazy and No Wonder. Melis descibes No Wonder as “my middle finger in a song, basically”. We’ve been fans of IYES for a long time and we’re sad to read that they’ll be relocating to Berlin soon, so celebrate their part of the Brighton music scene while we can.

Gazelle Twin – Antibody / Live at the Green Door Store supported by Eva Bowan

Gazelle Twin releases her new Antibody EP digitally on Anti-Ghost Moon Ray today, followed a physical release on limited blue 12″ on 16th June. Antibody comes backed with remixes from Wrangler and I Speak Machine as well as new b-side Phobia, and can be pre-ordered from iTunes here.. Antibody will appear on Gazelle Twin’s upcoming album Unflesh, due later this year.

To celebrate the launch Gazelle Twin played a gig at the Green Door Store last thursday, supported by Eva Bowan, and we were there to capture it:

(click on images to view large)