Monday, 13 July 2020

Matthew Frederick - Laura Jones



Back in March when "the event" was starting to ramp up, I went out and bought a bucket load of albums from artists I was less familiar with on a whim in order to have enough new music to see me through the next few months. There were a few great artists and albums that I got my metaphorical teeth into during that time - Elma Orkestra, Porridge Radio & The Lost Brothers being some of the artists whose albums helped to keep me sane during this strange, strange time. 

But of all the albums, the one that I enjoyed the most was "Fragments", the debut solo album from Welsh singer-songwriter Matthew Frederick, who had been nominated for the Welsh Music Prize with his band Climbing Trees. "Fragments" is a great, pastoral album, a thing of beauty that gets better and deeper with every listen. 

The song that I enjoyed the most from the album was "Laura Jones", which stands out from the rest of the tracks with its pop-orientated sound compared to the more folksy sound of the rest of the album. It's a tale of a long-lost teenage love that will have you singing along to the chorus for days on end. To coincide with its release as a single, Matthew Frederick has offered anyone whose name is Laura Jones a free download of the single, so whilst it might not be worth getting married or changing your name by deed poll for (but only just), it is well worth getting if you happen to be blessed with said name. And if not, the album & song are well worth paying for regardless.

"Laura Jones" is taken from the album "Fragments", which is out now on various formats on Staylittle Music.

Sunday, 31 May 2020

Our Krypton Son - White Sun


Chris McConaghy, who records under the moniker Our Krypton Son, has been one Derry's more underrated singer-songwriters of the past few years, releasing two well received albums, including the Northern Ireland Music Prize-nominated "Fleas & Diamonds", a giving us some fantastic songs along the way, our highlight being the Scott Walker-esque "Catalonian Love Song", a song that still gives us goose-pimples to this day.

Ahead of the release of a new set of material, he's released a new single which sees Our Krypton Son move in a different direction musically. "White Sun" is produced by Ryan Vail (who won last year's Northern Ireland Music Prize with his collaborative project "Borders" alongside Elma Orkestra), so unsurprisingly the track is an electronic and synth-based, something we haven't really seen in an OKS production to date. Although even with the change in direction, the focal point of McConaghy's vocals remain firmly intact, and as engaging as ever.

"White Sun" is taken from the 3rd album from Our Krypton Son, "Modern Ruins", which is due for release in July.


Tuesday, 24 March 2020

Big Daisy - Go Outside


We're not entire sure that given "the event", if it is fortuitous or unfortunate that the debut single from Belfast 4-piece Big Daisy happens to be called "Go Outside". We guess it depends on your perspective, one supposes, although given the song is described as an 'agoraphobic power ballad', it could just end up being the former.

The song itself is a great piece of scuzzy, lo-fi indie-pop, inspired by the sound of Weezer & also some fantastic Alvvays vibes as well. Great music whether you want to be out in the world, or more likely that not at the moment, whether you've got no option to stay in and listen to great music with a cup of coffee and some delicious Battenberg.

"Go Outside" is out now.

Tuesday, 17 March 2020

Malojian & Jason Lytle - The Singularity


One effect of the self-isolation that's come about as a result of "the event" is that we're likely to see a lot more remote collaborations between artists & musicians over the next few weeks. One team-up that we've already seen is from Northern Irish artist Malojian & Jason Lytle (of Grandaddy fame), who've recorded "The Singularity" remotely from their simultaneous lockdowns. It's a lovely song for an uncertain time.

"The Singularity" is currently available to download on a pay-what-thou-want basis, alongside an acapella version (for all your banging-remix needs), an an instrumental version for your "making up your own words" reasons.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Jamie Johnson - Old Friend


London based singer-songwriter Jamie Johnson first caught my attention last year with his wonderful song "Christopher", a heart-rendering song which made our Top Songs of 2019, (as well as picking up love from Phil Taggart at Radio 1), and that felt like it had been written just for me, and not just because it shares its name with myself.

And with his first release of the year, it looks as if 2020 is going to be just as bright. "Old Friend" was inspired by a old classmate he met on the train, and is a gorgeously tender track that manages to create something very special using such a sparse setup of just acoustic guitar & vocals, and calls to mind a more lo-fi sounding version of Jim Croce.

Jamie Johnson has a habit of releasing songs that pull all the emotional strings, and he's done it again on "Old Friend".