Written by Francis McPeake from ‘The Braes of Balquhither’ poem by Robert Tannahill, ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ is a true traditional folk song that has stood the test of time. In this latest version, UK songwriter Philip Murray Warson has used the simplicity of the words to great effect, marrying it to a simple structure and sparse instrumentation.
The track was chosen by Philip Murray Warson to close his self-titled EP, released last year, and now represents his first release of 2016 – as a free download.
The city of Aarhaus in Denmark is not one that often is brought up in conversation. In fact, I’d be hard pushed to remember a time when I’ve even heard of it. However, that city (Denmark’s second biggest city apparently) will forever be memorable to me as the birthplace of this new EP from Calming River.
An acoustic travelling troubadour who has made his way through Europe and beyond sharing his music with a growing fanbase, his reputation is built on a stunningly intimate live show. That close energy is translated to the new EP – ‘The Ones That We Left Behind’ – and does a great job of first capturing the listener’s ear and then keeping the attention with superb song writing skill.
Not to be confused with Will Smith movie ‘In Pursuit of Happyness’, Flaming June’s 8th EP ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ is out now. The EP, which retains much of the folk edge of Flaming June’s previous releases, shows perhaps a lighter side of songwriter Louise Eatock – more hopeful and playful than other releases which have shown a watchful wariness.
Here though, tracks like ‘In Pursuit of Happiness’ and ‘Dopamine Oxytocin’ show a songwriter who is enjoying her writing and hoping for a bright future. Even in the more cautionary tale of ‘Freedom’s Fairytale for Girls’, Eatock plays with fairy tale tropes to great effect, and although the message is somewhat cautionary, it feels like it was a fun song to write with its references and reminders of old folk tales.
A 25 year old songwriter with a wealth of stage experience as both an actor and musician, Philip Murray Warson is an artist who certainly knows his way around an acoustic guitar. His new EP, ‘Last of the Hunted’, consists of just two tracks – the title song and ‘Following Time’ (above), but in those two songs he speaks volumes about his talent.
By selecting one light, melodic track and one darker and more hypnotic, Warson has a two track release which manages to work across a spectrum of emotions. It will be very interesting to see how many shades of grey might be included in a full album, and this suggests there could be many.
For fans of acoustic folk, this EP is well worth the time and effort. And for only a couple of quid, you can’t really go wrong.
An exciting independent label who are gaining national recognition in the press for their dedication to their genre, Folkstock Records are becoming well known for discovering top new folk talent. Latest on their list of discoveries are eight artists who find themselves the focus of the London Folk and Roots Festival and a new compilation album.
Titled ‘Downtown’, the new LP features the new single from much hyped young songwriter Kelly Oliver, as well as further tracks from Fred’s House, Marina Florance, Kaity Rae, Ben Smith, Minnie Birch, Daria Kulesh and Zoe Wren. The album is available from November 1st, from the Folkstock website.
You can also get a free copy by grabbing a ticket for one of the two gigs below. Both part of the London Folk and Roots Festival, they will take place on consecutive Tuesdays at The Islington in London. Click on the banners below for tickets!
Ordinarily this site is dedicated to bringing you fresh new artists who are yet to become household names but do have the potential to do just that. In the case of Carmel, who had hits in the 1980s before taking a break from the industry until now, we’re making an exception for two reasons.
First, this is good quality music, and it’s been so long since those 80s tracks that a reintroduction to a new, internet savvy audience is needed.
Second, the style of these tracks – based on bluesy chords and hippie, airy folk – is a departure from her previous work.
The most important thing is that this is good, independent music offering an alternative to the mainstream, and there’s not enough people out there with name value who are offering that these days. For that, Carmel should be applauded and supported.
Heavily inspired by both traditional and the modern, composer Russell Suereth specialises in a form of composition based on the spiritual realm. His new album, ‘Spiritual Album’, is said to take the listener on a meditative journey, and judging by the track above it’s likely to be a very relaxing one.
Intriguing and hypnotic, the track weaves in both new and old techniques and instruments to create something of a bridge between the two. It’s effective work, different from the norm but all the better for it.
You can find more on Russell Suereth, his music and his various other projects at http://www.russellsuereth.com/spiritual-new-age-music/
A London singer songwriter who proudly writes, records and produces all his own work, Chris Hornsby is a folk based artist whose new EP ‘Human, Too Human’ is released later this month on May 22nd. The five tracks have been built from scratch, based around Hornsby’s most popular tracks when playing live and acoustic. Those songs, which have already gone some way to give Hornsby something of a live foothold, have here been fleshed out with new layers and further ideas.
It helps of course that Hornsby, in addition to acoustic guitar and vocals, is able to play a number of instruments. In fact, a total of 15 were used on this EP all played by the man himself.
The wide range of instruments, some more familiar than others, have allowed Hornsby to really express himself and make the songs sound just how he wanted. His independent recording techniques also allowed him to produce a ‘live’ feel to proceedings, each instrument recorded with live mics and the minimum of fuss or fiddling.
The result is a very good, fun EP. And all the more impressive once you know how it was made.
A funky four piece from Colchester, The Castro’s are specialists in alt-rock tunes laden with smooth grooves and a subtle energy that draws you in to their tracks piece by piece. Follow them on Facebook if you enjoy their track Eskimo
The track above, ‘Trick of the Light’, is the lead single from the new album of London songwriter Alexander Wolfe. The third album from the solo artist, it marks a fuller sound after the stripped down second LP (the aptly titled) ‘Skeletons’.
The fuller production sound takes the stripped down acoustic folk of previous effort and leaves room for horn sections, strings and more – additions which add many layers to the excellent foundations in the songwriting underneath. Often subtle, but sometimes taking center stage when the mood strikes, these layers bring plenty to the party, adding extra options in terms of dynamics, volumes and arrangements throughout.
The result is an impressive album which should break further ground on both sides of the pond, where Alexander Wolfe has already been causing ripples. Fingers crossed this album should help up the ante and make waves instead.