Saturday, 29 April 2017

Glass Wings - Made For Me/Jana From Barcelona

Glass Wings is the new project of Limavady's Stephen Jones, who has been involved in bands locally for many years, starting Glass Wings last year as an outlet for his solo material. He quickly came onto our radar in the past few weeks, after having the pleasure of seeing him live twice in the space of six days, firstly playing as a finalist at Chordblossom's Kickstart competition, then watching him put in a strong support slot for Aidan Logan.

He's gearing up to release his first E.P next month, and so far he has released two rather nice songs from it. Firstly, there's "Made For Me", a slow, folk-infused song that would go down well with fans of fellow local act PORTS among others.

It is the second song from the E.P that he's released however that we have really taken a shine to. We heard Glass Wings play "Jana From Barcelona" live both times with just an acoustic guitar and really loved its melody. Now that we've heard the full band studio version, we have fallen in love with it even more.

It's a tune that gives us echoes of 90s American "grown-up" guitar-pop songs, and although it's not a strongly country-sounding song, it does seem like something we could imagine being covered by The Mavericks. An absolutely lovely, infectious, Adult Contemporary Radio-friendly song.

Both songs are taken from Glass Wings' debut E.P, "Jana From Barcelona", which will be released in May.

Monday, 24 April 2017

Tom Williams - Everybody Needs a Home/Little Bird

Now here is an artist that has been on our radar for several years now, but have never felt the urge to write about. Until now that is.

Tom Williams has been plying his trade for several years, with many of his releases as Tom Williams & The Boat receiving airplay on 6music, which is where we first came to hear from him. Since then, we've come across several songs by him that we've liked, but nothing that has really grabbed our attention. However, now that he is no longer the helmsman of The Boat, and is back to recording as a solo artist, he recently released a brace of singles that have made us sit up and take notice of him.

The first song is "Everyone Needs A Home". Inspired by the ongoing refugee crisis in the Mediterranean, the song harks back to 70s American rock, and is topped off by soaring, lush strings that are just simply irresistible. It is a song that came out of nowhere, really took us aback, and finds itself as a strong contender to be our favourite song of the year come December time.

The second song from Tom Williams that grabbed our attention came out earlier this month, and has a rather different sound altogether. "Little Bird" is more of a driving, rock & roller of a song, with strong blues-y guitar riffs, somewhere in the vicinity of Miles Kane.

So that's two great singles from Tom Williams that he's given us in 2017. If the rest of his upcoming album is anything like that, then it's going to be a brilliant, diverse record indeed.

Both "Everybody Needs a Home" and "Little Bird" will both feature on the fifth album from Tom Williams, "All Change", which will be released on May 26th.

Brödet - Loser

This is a great little song from Brödet, a band based in Stockholm in Sweden. "Loser" is a song that is very much in the mold of  a more laidback version of The War on Drugs, with its atmospheric, hazy sound. Really nice indeed.

"Loser" is out now.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Step Rockets - Money

Goodness gracious, has it really been three years since we last wrote about Minneapolis trio Step Rockets on the blog? Apparently so, although thee of "Kisser", "Phantom Flower", and many other groovy songs have been keeping busy these last few years, including compiling their best singles into a consolidated release, "Future Nature", last year.

They've a new single out, which given that it's been released right in the middle of the tax season, is rather aptly called "Money". It is a song that is very much in the style of Step Rockets, in taking the rock format and tweaking it slightly to make it more palatable for the current audience - once again, we think that Imagine Dragons would be the closest musical comparison. Unfortunately its rather liberal use of profanity does preclude it from being the alt-rock radio hit that it has the capability of being, but I'm sure there's a less cuss-y edit of it out there if needs must.

"Money" is out now.

Sunday, 2 April 2017

BRØR - Something New

Last night, the winner of Chordblossom's Kickstart competition was announced, and after much deliberation among the judges (full disclosure - your humble captain was part of the panel), it was decided that the winner of the competition was BRØR. They will receive a raft of support to help them in their musical career, including recording time, CD duplication, and a number of supporting slots at gigs and festivals over the next couple. The runners up on the night included Glass Wings, Claire Louise and Sam Wickens, and although they didn't come out on top, we have a feeling we will be covering them on the blog in the future.

So who are BRØR? They are an Armagh based duo made up of brothers Ben & Johno (Hence the name BRØR, which is Swedish for brothers). They were previously members of HOW (a band that we covered on the blog three years ago), and are purveyors of driving rock of the alt and noise variety. "Something New" is their first single, and the song by that won many of us over to their sound. Both their band line-up and sound call to mind Japandroids, with its heavy, bass-absent sound, yearning lyrics and rocky harmonies. They've got a lot of other great songs waiting in the wings, so we are looking forward to what they're going to do now that they've got a bit of traction behind them.

"Something New" is out now.