Track Review: Nelson Can- Miami



Nelson Can






Miami is available at:


The album Now Is Your Time To Deliver is available through:





Now Is Your Time To Deliver

Letting Go


Here To Stay

Talk About It

A New Condition For Life

Go Low

You Don’t Know

15th September, 2014





WHAT with the British ‘spring’ (being somewhat predictable), it is nice to throw something…

fresh and new into the mix.  Having (come off the back of) reviewing Marisa Rodriguez- a Berkshire-based songwriter- my attentions move further away: all the way to Denmark.  My featured act have had quite a busy (last few weeks): having supported Royal Blood (through their tour of Scandinavia) the two acts share common ground.  Whereas there are two Royal Blood boys (three girls in Nelson Can) their dynamic is the same: just vocal, drum and bass- no guitars or tinsel.  The sound being produced- from Nelson Can and Royal Blood- is much in demand: it is the meat and bones of Rock; pure grit and primeval ooze.  That is not to say (this type of music) is merely swaggering and dumbed-down lyrics: Royal Blood have shown you can mix relatable words with some nuanced and crowd-uniting sounds.  Living near (to where Royal Blood hail), I have seen few comparable acts: those bands (or duos) who go back to basic- and harness the delirious, gilded sounds of ‘Classic Rock’.  The modern scene (is seeing) too many effete bands: those that do not get under the skin; have no masculinity or potency- just vague sound and aimless wandering.  Before I continue on, let me introduce Nelson Can:

Nelson Can is a Danish trio founded in 2011.

Bass, drums and vocals.

Members: Signe SigneSigne, Maria Juntunen and Selina Gin.

Nelson Can are a rarity: in the fact that they are a female trio.  If you were to name three other (acts of this formation) you might be hard-pressed (Haim are the only one that come to mind).  In fact, female bands (of any sort) are a rarity- the mainstream still favours/produces a mass of male-dominated bands.  I have always been for equality in music- in terms of gender and age/race- and to my mind, music lacks that.  Bands are too homogenised and predictable: beholden to age-old principles and male-only clans.  Nelson Can hail from Denmark: a country few of us think of (when it comes to new music).  I am excited about them for a number of different reasons.  There are a lot of female (solo acts) but few bands: we need more of them coming through.  In the realm of new music (there are quite a few) yet few translate to the mainstream: here is an act that is going to hit the big time (in next to no time).  It is their passion for music- contemporary acts like The Black Keys; older bands like The Doors- which goes into their sounds.  Instilled with personality, punch and passion, Nelson Can are one of the most immediate and jaw-dropping acts around: songs that defy you to ignore them.  It was perhaps inevitable- giving they have a lot in common with Royal Blood- their recent (mini tour of Scandanavia) was such a success.  I hope the girls get to the U.K. very soon (I know they have dates here later next week).  I can well see them rocking Reading (and Leeds), Glastonbury (and the Isle of Wight Festival) in the next few years: perhaps playing the same bill as their Brighton brothers of Rock.  Nelson Can work off the principles of dogmatic growl; sparse sounds- the essence of urgent Rock.  In a time where piano-laden swathes (litter overly-earnest ballads) the Danish trio defies convention: roll with more authority than most of their male counterparts.  With so many of the ‘old guard’- like Foo Fighters: a band I can’t stand the sound of- slopping into middle-age, Nelson Can are a much-needed injection of force.  Now Is Your Time To Deliver (their new album) can be taken too ways: either a shout-out (to their contemporaries) or a mantra to themselves- that desire to show everyone exactly how they do things.  Celebrated and critically-acclaimed (in their native Denmark), fans from around the world have studied the L.P.- fallen in love with its mesmeric sounds.

If you are new to Nelson Can (most of us will be) it is worth checking out their early sounds.  This time last year, the girls burst onto the scene: Attack was a typically suitable title.  Before then, the trio had unveiled releases: their self-titled E.P. was released in 2012 (and was their debut cut).  Attack was their most immediate- and to my mind, best- representation: that moment when they hit their peak; really started to hit their stride.  Being phenomenal out of the block (the song) has coo and bounce: it is a slow-build that entrances and entices.  Having a sense of dance to it (it is a song that flirts with Electro.-Pop elements) with trip and headiness.  Husky and sensual vocals arrive; the smoke and sass comes through- the vocal reminded me parts Florence Welch and Bjork.  Tighter and more intuitive (than their debut E.P.) the girls are seamlessly in-step- there is not a loose or unsure note.  That said; the trio makes the song sound cool and relaxed- in spite of the fact it is a taut and focused assault.  Raw emotions show their intent; yet there is plenty of melody and calm: the marriage is a beautifully memorable one (and their finest track to date).  EP2 arrived (not long after Attack; the song featured on the E.P.) and expanded on their early promise- new inspiration came to the fore.  Call Me When You Want To Get Laid contains a typically astute and alluring introduction.  The title- and indeed the chorus- has its tongue in cheek; there is sarcasm and grit; sexiness and directness- the girls are at their most cutting.  Twists-a-plenty lurk with wordless vocals: there is a terrific dynamic that runs throughout; the song builds before quieting down- then comes back for more (matching the sex-seeking tableau).  The song’s ‘hero’ comes across vividly: there is twist and unexpectedness amongst the lyrics.  With a sound that seems inspired by Detroit- and the likes of The White Stripes- there is a distinct Nelson Can approach- the girls merely sprinkle hints of others (such as The Kills and The Doors).  A beautiful mix of whistling, whisper (and spit) makes it a tremendous track.  Go Low (the E.P.’s swansong) is a memorable closer: tribal and ethereal beginnings make it an instant vote-winner.  Shades of Icky Thump (The White Stripes’ final album) can be detected; Blues Rock-cum- Soul peeks out (The Black Keys’ influence too) – the girls are in fine form.  Another tight and superbly performed track, that mixture of loose and perfectionism arrives- a song that sounds effortless yet vital.  With an effecting mantra- “Dig yourself a deeper grave”- is a song you are loathed to forget.  Since those records, the girls have arrived at their L.P. – their most expansive representation to date.  Containing the same mix of energy and soothe (as their previous work) the L.P. takes it a step further: there are new shades and sounds (to be heard).  Tracks like Glorious and A New Condition For Life are particularly standout- older numbers like Attack and Go Low are on the album.  Seamlessly blending their old sounds (with the newer) every song sounds natural and focused.  The biggest difference- since their early days- is the sense of identity. The trio sound more unique- and take fewer parables from Stripes/Keys/Doors etc. – and have crafted quite a distinct sound.  Keeping those Blues-Rocks sounds intact, they have expanded: developed as songwriters and really sharpened their pen.   The vocals- from Selina Gin- are more confident and assured; the bass and drum positively crackle and ignite- the three-piece are at their most urgent and impressive.  This not only bodes well for the future, but will come to the fore (through live performances) – the U.K. is in for a treat (when the Danish act arrives in the next few days).

Having listening (to Now Is Your Time To Deliver), I have selected its opening number (to review) – my favourite song from the album.  Miami– not to be confused with Will Smith’s track (thankfully) – spares no time (in getting off to the races).  Groan and bubble starts to build (a synth.-like sound comes out; only created through bass).  The wordless vocals- a trademark for Nelson Can- start to come out.  A call-and-response chorus is presented- ‘yays’ and ‘ayes’ swirl like a centrifuge.  With some impressively powerful percussion- played with focus, control and passion- back up the vocals: the bass does a tremendous job of ramping up the emotions.  In the same way as Royal Blood- especially on tracks like Figure It Out and Loose Change– whip up quite a storm, the girls do likewise (only their ace card is a slow-build of vocals and mood).  You can hear the tension (and palpable) cries: before the first verse arrives, your mind is already conspiring and imagining.   It is said- “All these rules and regulations”- let our heroine be; live her life (as she wishes)- the words are delivered with an impish sense of desire.  With a distinct (Danish) accent mingling with some Florence-esque prowess (the vocal) is a powerful and driving force: it never comes across as histrionic or overbearing; just in control and direct.  Positively bursting at the seams, the voice becomes hotter (and heavier): backed by some fuzzed/blissed-out bass (and punchy percussion) the song swaggers and sways.  Fuzzy and hazy; moonstruck and delirious, you are caught in the moment- when a musical parable is unleashed, you get a chance for reflection.  After an exhilarating and lustful opening, the girls transform the psyche: ‘60s Psychedelia mingles with ‘90s/’00s Blues-Rock haze (as though Jimi Hendrix and Jack White have decided to jam together).  Putting my mind on a sun-kissed highway- not sure why; just does- there is a breeze and heat to proceedings (a slight kiss of Queens of the Stone Age’s desert luster comes out).  Perhaps Miami is an apropos title: the beaches and sun; the sensuality and bare flesh- there is evocativeness within the song (that puts your mind there).  Before you can demure- and slip into your imagination’s desires- that primal coda comes in- the calls and swirling “someone”s hit the brain like a ballistic explosion.  Never encroaching or overly-harsh, there is sensuality, subtlety and sensuousness- that dynamic is something Nelson Can has perfected.  Miami is a song that is both instant and nuanced: a song that reveals new traicks (and pleasures) with each listen.  Those who think ‘here is a female Royal Blood’ will have to think again: the trio is their own masters.  Sure, they contain just bass, vocals and drums: their sound is completely different.  Betraying a debt to nobody, their unique flair (is the abiding takeaway).  Flecks of The Black Keys, Florence and the Machine (with a drizzle of The Kills and The White Stripes) is detectable: they are minor notes in (an otherwise) heady boiling bot.  Having listened to the track (six or seven times) a few things come to mind: the kinship is at the top of the list.  The girls sound completely tight and in awe: as though they have been playing for decades.  Few (new) bands have such a close-knit and natural bond- this makes the song so much more impressive and immense.  The vocals trip inside one another; overlap and play- never tripping over their own feet.  Bass work is constant and imperious: one of the most stunning facets of the song.  Urgent and driving; melodic and delirious- it is a wonderful performance.  The drum work stomps and rolls; pulses and kicks- giving the song a taut and authoritative backbone.  When the three unite, you get the biggest shivers: the most forceful tingles are elicited.  There are more urgent and primal tracks (on the album) although few are as delirious- the kind of song that can unify the hipsters, Rock aficionado and Miami beaches (into an armistice of sweat-dripping dance).  Suitable for the twilight bars (as it is the clement lust of the sand), Miami is a wonderful track- and a perfect way to kick off their album.  Make sure you investigate the track; keep playing it to death (as it is will never leave you brain).

After a successful- and hugely memorable- tour of Scandinavia with Royal Blood, the girls are preparing to head to the U.K.  On Wednesday, the trio is in Shoreditch (an area of London I hope to move to very soon) and will be entrancing the London throng.  From there, they head across the U.K. (in addition to playing other London dates) – before heading away.  I would urge anyone- whether you favour their brand of music or not- to go see them play.  A slightly new commodity, the girls will certainly grow in reputation: their U.K. gigs will set many (music publications and critics here) into a frenzy- compelled by their incredible sounds.  Many reviewers and commentators have bemoaned (the fact there are few ‘genuine’ rock acts around): it seems like Royal Blood have been carrying a very heavy torch.  It seems the perfect time for Nelson Can to shine: take the opportunity to stake their claim; pitch their tent in an empty field (and inspire legions of others).  Whereas most of my female-led music (is from solo artists) it is great to hear a female band: one that rocks harder and more strikingly than any out there.  I am not sure why there are (in comparison to the men) few female bands; it is something that needs to change- the likes of Nelson Can will change that.  Now Is Your Time To Deliver is an album packed with awesome songs: all quite brief and memorable; no fillers and wasted moments to be found.  In spite of the fact (the album has been out for a few months) the girls must be looking forward to (the rest of the year)- perhaps a new album or E.P. is in their mind?  They will certainly be looking to take their music on the road: perhaps the likes of the U.S. and Australia will come calling?  Let’s hope so, as they have terrific everyman personalities; that desire to succeed and inspire- that hunger to enthrall crowds far and wide.  Miami is a terrific lead-off track; a clarion call of desire: a great representation (of what the album contains).  I shall depart (with a scant thought) concerning the girls: their plans for 2015.  I shall do my best to come see them play (if not this time around; when they next come to town).  I know they are comfortable in Denmark, yet I hope they make the U.K. their ‘second home’.  Being a unique act, there are ample venues that would welcome them in: festivals like Camden Rocks seems made for them!  With the summer looming (theoretically at least) their time is now: that window to grab the critics by the scrotum (and rip it straight off).  Filled with attack, direction (and lust) the girls are no one-dimensional act- their loveable personalities and natural warmth makes them a fascinating prospect.  Apologies if I have vacillated too much…

BUT here is an act you need to seek out.



Follow Nelson Can:












Track Review: Marisa Rodriguez- Come Home



Marisa Rodriguez

Come Home




Come Home is available at:


5th September, 2014

Pop; Folk; Alternative




THIS weekend shows a distinct sense of contrast…

for many different reasons.  My ’subject’ today is an hungry artist: someone whom works tirelessly- around Berkshire and Surrey- to seduce ears (and hearts) – she is someone who is a name to watch.  Tomorrow, I look at a Danish ‘girl band’ (they are a Rock act with a lot more credibility than your average manufactured Pop act): currently supporting Royal Blood as they tour Scandinavia- an act that surely have a glistening future.  One of the great things about reviewing- apart from the chance to focus on something singular and personal- is the range of people/musicians I happen upon (from all around the world).  At the moment, my inbox is awash with requests: acts from about the globe are keen to be assessed.  Aside from the (mass of emails coming from) Hamilton, Ontario- not sure why Ontario likes me so much- I have been very fortunate (to ‘see’ such sights and nations).  Having covered four continents; traversed the length (and breadth of the U.K.)- assessed U.S., Australian, European and local talent- it is great to see what is out there.  As much as I adore international music- especially that emanating from North America- it is humbling to witness some (great local) sounds: those tangible up-comers (you can pop down the road and see play live).  Marisa Rodriguez is someone I am familiar with: well-versed with regards her stunning music; having met her, I know how hard she works- and how passionate she is about music.  Few (other singers) have such a yearning and unwavering determination: that insatiable desire to succeed and inspire- this comes through in her varied (and striking) music.  In addition to being an incredible songwriter- and one of the most mature and intelligent lyricists from the modern set- I adore her voice: that heartbreaking (and multifarious) peacock that opens its plumage (upon will) – delighting with every flick and sweep.  Before I continue, let me introduce Rodriguez to you (in her own words):

“I knew I wanted to sing forever! 🙂 However cliché it may sound, I did sing into a little plastic microphone to my parents DAILY in the living room! I have pictures somewhere.. but I think I will refrain from letting those loose on the web! xD

Throughout school I had a tough time, and I moved around a lot because of family things. 
By the time I’d finished my GCSE’s, my passion for music had began to spiral out of control. Although I had always written poetry, I had started writing songs and performing towards the end of GCSE and it was all I wanted to do/could concentrate on when I was doing my first year of A Levels.
I got to the end of my first year of 6th form and decided I couldn’t stand it anymore! I just wanted to get better at music in general, as I’d not had any lessons up until then; I was self taught in singing, guitar & songwriting and all I wanted was to learn more about it all!

That is when I found the Academy of Contemporary Music (ACM).

Money has been a struggle the last few years whilst I’ve been there, but it’s definitely been worth it. I’ve met some amazing people/musicians, learnt a lot about the industry and have got to do what I love the most whilst also gaining a degree! 🙂

I’m on my last year now! There’s still a lot I need to figure out, but I’ve realised that you just have to go with it, as I seem to learn something new everyday!

I’m also always trying to improve my music/write new songs, not only for myself but as collaboration projects with other producers/artists.

I hope this wasn’t too long winded and gives you an insight into the life of Marisa. 🙂
Hope you like the music.”

In a market crammed with solo artists- ranging from the immense to the downright ear-offending- Rodriguez is making her way (and growing in confidence).  Before I investigate Rodriguez further- and look back at her chest of previous work- it is worth noting this: 2015 will be a busy and prosperous one (for Rodriguez).  I know- from following her on Facebook- she holds some anxieties (with regards her music development and ambitions); questions her motives and ideals- her resilience is something to be admired.  Having overcome a lot of troubles- and worked harder than any other musician I know- she is on the cusp of something special: an E.P. is mooted (for later in the year); she is performing regularly (and entrancing intimate crowds).  Having amassed an impressive array of tracks (originals and cover versions) she has plenty of options- with regards compiling an E.P. (or album, perhaps).  Finance is always an issue- when an artist comes to getting an E.P. together- although Kickstarter will be kind: she will hit any ‘target’ she puts out there (and raise the necessary funds).  I hope that is in her mind, as (Rodriguez) has shown what an agile and alluring songwriter she is- someone endlessly inspired; always scribbling lyrics and new ideas.  Modern music suffers from incongruity: plenty of new artists coming through; few resonate (long) in the imagination- the dispirited and uneconomical returns are quite worrying.  With a lot of people (of my generation at least) looking back at past music- whilst embracing the few wonderful new acts- we are in need of ensuring artists: songwriters with a mobility and sense of longevity; those who are not (going to show themselves to be) a transitory grace.  Rodriguez has enough moxy and focus: tied around her silky and powerful voice.

With regards assessing (Marisa Rodriguez in her current form) it is worth looking back: to see how far she has come/developed as an artist.  Once Bitten, Twice Shy arrived 3 years ago: it is a strong and impassioned number- showcasing Rodriguez’s strong (and distinct voice).  With a simple and catchy acoustic flair, the melody (and sound) sticks in the mind.  Talking about (leaving things behind; battling regrets and doubts) the song has a modern and current sound- with lyrics designed to inspire and motivate.  Although- as the song attests- she has faced some hardships; there is redemption and strength- Rodriguez talks of (letting someone down) and finding new meaning.  With powerful crescendos (and a compelling performance) is a terrific early number- with a fine set of lyrics to boot.  One of Rodriguez’s earlier (original tracks) she negates the pitfalls of her peers- too much woe and introspection; not enough range and positivity.  Once Bitten’ shows plenty of firepower and beauty; ample confidence and naturalness- Rodriguez is gripping and compelling throughout.  Dust- written around the same sort of time (as Once Bitten’) is subtler (and more serene).  With shades of Kate Bush and Eva Cassidy- in the softer moments- there is breathiness and sexuality; evocativeness and grit: the young singer runs a gauntlet of emotions.  With hints of Lucy Rose (and Mazy Star) it is a touching and scintillating number- that shows a very unique personality (and voice).  Developing her voice (and songbook) Tails or Heads– one of her most recent original works- has passion and bounce: Rodriguez looks at dislocated love and fractured relations.  With an introduction- that shows (rather unexpectedly) shades of Nirvana- there is plenty of oomph and bounce.  Suggestions of Paramore and Kelly Clarkson (during the most uplifted vocal moments), the track is a potent and energised beauty.  The lyrics look at harder times- where demands were made of her; sour times being dealt with- yet Rodriguez shows resilience and strength- her heart and soul will not be dampened and scarred.  Boasting a fine melody and chorus- that puts me in mind of Alanis Morissette’s You Outta Know– it is a wonderful track (that shows how much Rodriguez has developed as a songwriter).  Both extemporaneous and perfectionist, Rodriguez blends acoustic kick and vigour; ties it to someone inspirational and thought-provoking lyrics- wrapped around vocals which are at once caramel and chocolate; stirring and knee-dropping the next.  Over the course of a couple of years, Rodriguez has expanded her voice; sharpened her songwriting- galvanised and augmented her early promise.  Having tackled cover versions- from the likes of London Grammar, Kate Bush and Sia- the vocal work (on Heads or Tails) sounds stronger and more gripping; the songwriting is more confident and quotable- the overall effect is mesmeric.  Having grown as an artist, the arrival of Come Home– at the latter stages of last year- was met with huge anticipation and expectation.

The aforementioned tracks with swan-like glide and delicacy: a yearning and aching piano parable (filled with crystalline beauty).  Putting me in mind of Parachutes-era Coldplay (and its finer romantic numbers) Rodriguez shows some nimble fingers; some exceptional playing- ensuring she leads the listener in.  Building off of (some wordless vocals), there is little time to reflect: the song’s messages and meanings get underway quickly.  Whereas Rodriguez’s previous numbers (with the exception of a few) are acoustic-led; Come Home relies on (in the early stages) piano: giving the number a classic edge; romantic seduction and serenity.  When our heroine steps to the microphone, her thoughts turn to a sweetheart- someone who “left so easily.”  Looking for answers and guidance (Rodriguez) is looking around- wondering how things went wrong.  Whether some blame (should go her way) – a rare thing for a songwriter to not go for the jugular of their subject- there is some humility and openness: no bitterness and finger-pointing.  Rodriguez keeps her voice low and smoky: it not only adds weight to the lyrics; it gives the mood a sense of shadow and introspection.  When listening to the song, you get some clear imagery: our heroine listening to (a special song for the couple) and thinking back- reflecting on fonder times.  As the song develops, your thoughts mutate- and the title becomes more relevant- leading away from break-up (and towards something more romantic).  Not wanting to banish her man, there is that abiding feel of longing: that need for a rekindling; reignite a deep and meaningful bond.  Delivering (the song’s title) with elongated power, the song climbs and builds: the tingles come readily; it becomes more powerful and stirring.  Letting the composition act as a guide, Rodriguez puts her voice at the forefront: it ranges from incredible soulfulness to full-bloodied lust.  Modern singers like Hannah Reid and Florence Welch (are synonymous with their range and potency), yet neither boasts Rodriguez’s spectrum: she has a distinct sound yet seems effortlessly capable of molding her voice to fit her lyrics.  Early on, there is looking-back: the vocal is tremulous and quivering; bold and alive.  Towards the mid-point, the track settles back down (for the chorus) where our heroine focuses her ambition: the return of her beau.  Each new delivery (of the words ‘come home’) shows new shades: alluring sexuality; sensitive regard; emotional vulnerability; incredible panache.  Towards the 2:30 mark, Rodriguez is at her peak: her voice is enflamed and ecstatic; a maze of emotion and passion.  Desperate for redemption and resolution, you are gripped by the conviction- how much the words mean (to the heroine).  Few other singers have such an incredible set of lungs: not only is the vocal powerful; it is steeped with nuance and colour.  Just as you get caught (in a wave of heartache), the final moments arrive: allowing Rodriguez a chance to refrain.  Her voice here- during the close- is soft and pin-sharp.  With sensual reflectiveness, Come Home comes to land: the listener is left wondering how the story ends.  Whether (our heroine) found satisfaction- or was left to sleep with a heavy heart- we do not know.  What is clear is the effect the song has: it is a number you are compelled to reinvestigate and study; it is hard to ignore its prowess and power.  Heartache and anxiety inspires some great musical moments: how they are translated can be hit-and-miss.  Over the last few months, artists like James Bay have left me cold- in fact, a lot of the new crop sound tired and bland; robotic and inane.  Rodriguez- like her comrades in the underground- shows much more vitality and personality.  Inspired by the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Coldplay, it is unfair (to compare her) to anyone: Rodriguez is an original and unique artist.  Packed with romance, emotion and shiver, Come Home is a terrific creation: a song that has resonated with many people (and inspired our heroine to keep writing).  Whether an E.P. will arrive by summer (or come later in the year) Come Home must surely feature- it is one of Rodriguez’s finest creations.  From her earlier days, the young artist is still learning: gaining fresh insight and inspiration.  Having seen some of (her most recent) lyrics, there is plenty of diversity: Rodriguez herself is not just concerned with heartache; her poetic gifts touch on many different arenas.  A multicoloured and mobile writer, Rodriguez (and any future release) will be met with fervent excitement- I cannot wait to hear it!  Taking all this into mind, it is hard to ignore her main virtue: that wondrous voice.  Heartbreaking and seductive; exquisite and bejeweled, it is hard to shake it (and why would you?!).  It not only makes Come Home such a (stunning number) – it sets her apart from her contemporaries (and is one of the most stunning voices I have ever heard).

With today (proving to be somewhat lugubrious) from a meteorological standpoint, it is worth seeking comfort (in the security and warm embrace) music offers- sounds that can put a smile to the lips.  There are some merit-worthy acts coming through- from all around the world; catering to all tastes- although the ‘buzz’ (being projected by the music media) is around the old guard.  With Blur announced (for the Isle of Wight Festival; The Magic Whip is imminent); The Libertines coming back strong- and Laura Marling having crafted another sublime L.P.- it is time to get fresh blood trending.  Marisa Rodriguez has a voice that is endlessly adaptable: look at her list of cover versions; she not only transforms (every song she tackles) she seems completely natural and dominant (like she was singing one of her own creations).  It is when she puts pen to paper; you start to see something quite unique: one of these new acts capable (of rubbing shoulders with the finest singer-songwriters around the world).  There is still a hegemony and clamber for bands (and the band market): festivals pretty much revolve around them it seems.  The solo artist has a harder life: taking it on alone, their existence is a lot harder and more exhausting.  Getting acclaim (with so many others acts coming through) is a hard and inscrutable mistress: many quit and burn-out (galled by the endless pressure they face).  I know Rodriguez has had some ‘moments’- where the balance of work, music and ‘life’ has caused her mind to doubt- yet I know how tirelessly she works: someone who is never going to give up (on her goals).  Come Home is a track that resonates with me- having first heard it upon its release- and a hint to the future: what her (possible) E.P. could contain; what themes/ideas will be explored.  Having penned a few other originals- and taking on a series of covers- over the last few months, Rodriguez is in fine voice: ideas are percolating and forming (almost by the week).  With song ideas, fragments (of lyrics and tracks) being teased- it will not be long before a fully-fledged release is unveiled.  That day will be an important one: a chance for the rest of the world to hear (what Rodriguez) is all about- and assess her songwriting prowess to the full.  When she does drop an E.P., she will face an ‘interesting’ choice: will (the E.P.) contain all originals; or will a cover version be in there?  Rodriguez has an incredible songwriter talent; she is deftly able to make existing songs sound fresh and new.  I am sure she will not want to think TOO far ahead: as we speak, the young talent is looking ahead (to future performances).  Regularly hosting ‘open mic.’ nights- and encouraging the folk of Berkshire to come hear (some great local talent) – she is building a name for herself.  It would be great to see an official website- a central point with everything Marisa Rodriguez on it- to attract fans and followers (and give record labels and venues a chance to see her full portfolio).  In addition, Rodriguez has a great Twitter opportunity: regular updates and ‘checking in’ could see her numbers rise- I know many international venues/acts/followers keen to stay close to her electronic tongue.  With her Facebook numbers increasing- and sparks of inspiration occurring frequently- this year will be a great one (for her).  Come Home is a testament of what she is about: an artist who channels personal dislocation (and sadness) into something ethereal and beautiful- topped off by her inimitable and spine-straightening voice.  If you are looking to escape the rain- or tired by the predictable plod of pedestrian new music- then you should do yourself a favour: investigate an artist with a unique voice; someone who will be producing music (many years) from now.  A gorgeous and stunning talent- with an altruistic approach to her fellow musicians- there is ample to entice the eye: I predict some special times ahead.  With regards (a future E.P./tour) the heroine is keeping level-headed: making sure she is fully ready (before putting anything out there).  With a new manager on board, Rodriguez is gaining momentum: it cannot be long before (high profile) London venues coming a-knocking.  Her sound is that which is easily exportable: I know (similar-sounding) artists performing across L.A. and California- whether that is something Rodriguez wants to consider, I am not sue.  The bottom line is (is that) she is a songwriter who has options and choices: if she remains focused and infused; she will get her due rewards.  Marisa Rodriguez is an artist on the rise: make sure you check out her wonderful music.  With the champions of the mainstream (stealing all the limelight) – and new music having to curtsey with demure regard- listen to an artist (with a gilded future looming); someone who resonates in the mind…

AND provides something genuinely inspiring



Follow Marisa Rodriguez:









The Single Voice: The ‘Foreplay Stage’

The Single Voice

The ‘Foreplay Stage’ (Feeling Optimistic)

OKAY, so I’ll play this like a birth: use the analogy with as few mentions…

to the (rather graphic) process as possible.  In fact, I have never been that ‘pretentious’ (I hope) when describing any of my campaigns/fundraisers (if I use the word ‘journey’ once, I will castrate myself).  Just wanted to give those- with any vague anticipation and interest- a heads-up/progress report.  After a busy weekend (so far)- of reviewing and what have you- I am dedicating (tomorrow) to conceptualising/solidifying my plans…

So far, I have written to a few big names- Google of course; Stephen Fry too- to get some support/backing.  It would be great (were Google) to take interest: throw their weight behind it (and realise it’s a good/risk-free idea).  For those who have not read my initial blog ( I am getting revved-up about this- I think it could be a winner.  If it all goes ‘to plan’ (and it gets launched) there are back hopes: raising millions for lots of charities; raising awareness of gender/equality issues; promoting new music; giving a voice to ‘forgotten’/stigmatised illnesses…so much more.  I have pretty good plans for the website- making it informative, full-bodied and eye-catching (ensuring the registration process is as pain-free as possible).

If Google are on board, I would like to think (a conservative estimate) the scheme could launch this time next year- and run for a full year.  The Single Voice relies on very little initial effort (from the user): the great thing is- once you have signed up-  it is a case of sitting back and watching the donations/fundraising climb.  It is perhaps the most ambitious charity idea ever- in some sense- but I am not off-put: there is no reason it could not succeed/be launched…

When I get more word back (from Google/various celebs.) I will keep you all updated.  When it is ‘a go’, I would love for (musicians, actors, comedians etc.) to do some promotional videos- can be humorous or unique… to get people on board.  Once that happens, on with the journey…

OH fuck.

Track Review: Allegories (Ft. MEAGHA)- Evaporate



Allegories (Ft. MEAGHA)








Evaporate is available at:

26th February, 2015





This one might be a bit brief.  A lot of acts (come to me) fully armed: biography in place; photos a-plenty- gig information and what have you.  Today: I am going to have to make assumptions (without padding this review too much).  Allegories do not exist (their ‘official website’ says as much) – to the extend they are unknown quantity.  Like Daft Punk, you are looking at a duo: there is no background information; few images on hand- everything is very much under wraps.  What I do know- I think anyway- is that they are an Ontarian band: an area of the planet that comes to my attention a lot (what is it about Canada and this blog?!).  The duo is a relatively new configuration- having released one song previously- and are building up quite a head of steam: in small part due to their sense of mystique and anonymity.  I am ambivalent- and go back and forth- when it comes to ‘detail’ and music: whether it is good to give a lot of information away; a mistake to be too aloof.  In a social media age- where you have to be forthcoming to such a degree- it is always smart giving (the general public) plenty of insight: where you come from; who inspires you- although some do take this concept a little too far.  We do not need to know EVERYTHING about a musician- bowel movements; food habits etc. – yet we need to know something at least.  Allegories let their music do the shouting: it would be nice to gain some insight (into their work and background).  Perhaps- when they start hitting their stride- they will be a little less coquettish: open up a little and give something away.  As it stands, the guys are a slight gamble: which makes their music very exciting.  If you have strong songs- which they seem to have already- then you need not sweat stuff (like biography etc.)- they have the musical balls to make their point heard.  At the moment (in 2015) the lads are starting to build their fan-base: the social media numbers are climbing modestly; the reviews are starting to come in.  The mask-wearing mystery men of Allegories want to keep people guessing: perhaps they find the business of music-making more essential than personal revelations.  On this occasion- for the song Evaporate– the too-cool-for-school innovators have drafted in MEAGHA: someone just as fascinating (as the chaps themselves).  Her Twitter account (is recently back up) and gives few personal insights- she sounds like a fascinating character, no less.  Annoyingly beautiful; striking body art; one hell of a voice- and a likeable, vote-winning personality.  Whether she resides in Canada (I cannot gleam that from Twitter) is unknown- she is sure to be in our thoughts (in years to come).  The bond- formed quickly and efficiently- is natural and striking; one presumes there is a little history/understanding between them- Evaporate shows a seamless and tight-knit understanding.

Funny Way of Loving You (is Allegories’) previous track- the first outing for the twosome.  Building and swirling- from the off- the song instantly makes a mark: designed to get inside of your head (with the initial beats).  Dreamy and hypnotic; dark and pressing, the composition is a rich and detailed one: yet sounds effortless and loose.  When the vocal comes in, it is relaxed and seductive- a sound fans of The National would admire.  Whilst the vocal (is not as sonorous and deep) as Matt Berninger’s, it is a sensual and seductive tone- that perfectly augments the music.  Counterpart of the (insistent and crackling backing) the vocal is an ice-cool and reflective thing: our hero reflects on a love (of a different kind).  Looking back at mistakes and missteps- midst the aural shower of electronics- there is regret and introspection; humour too- whilst the song’s theme is original and perfectly delivered.  An impressive and confident track, it shows (the boys of Allegories) are bold and fearless; steeped with natural ability and intuition.  For such a memorable debut cut: it would be hard to top it, surely?  With Evaporate, it seems like they have (done just that) – and improved on their tremendous start.


Evaporate begins with clatter and bubble: dream-like swathes and echoed vocals; blending beautifully in harmony.  Wasting no time in making its mark, the track (puts me in mind of) the likes of London Grammar and FKA twigs.  It has the former’s breathy and entrancing allure; the latter’s sharp and exciting edge- combined to create something urgent and passionate.  Imagining Hannah Reid (London Grammar’s leading lady) stepping towards the microphone, the listener is intrigued (and left curious)- how the song will develop.  MEAGHA speaks of “everything that’s closed…to me”: imploring to a (focal figure) to offer some guidance and support- her voice awash with ache and longing.  Whereas the composition is ripe, receptive and busy- employing layers of notes, synths. and undertones- the vocal is a restrained and relaxed beauty: wonderfully contrasting against the composition.  MEAGHA has an alluring and breathless sigh; a voice that sounds both fractured and headstrong- making sure each word resonates and affects.  Imploring (her man and hero) to “kiss me”: there is a sense of a woman who yearns for affection; a sense of satisfaction is required (a desire to be fulfilled).  Never expressing the sentiments too whole-heartedly and heavy-handed, the vocal is a serene and flowing breeze- putting me in mind (of some of) FKA twigs’ current sounds.  Enraptured (by the music around her) our heroine comes more into focus- her voice sharpens and spikes.  Keeping that ethereal and ghost-like whisper in the mix, the voice starts to stand up: become stern and attentive; making sure the words and understood and emphasised.  Addressing her anonymous other, MEAGHA asks why (are they so familiar) with each other; there are questions and doubts- that desire seems to be palpable and overwhelming.  As the storyline goes on, the composition keeps evolving and moving: tiny little details come into view; there is so much to hear and absorb.  Not contended to project a lazy and one-dimensional electronic soundscape, the boys infuse so much attention and work (into their sound)- forgoing the trend of lazy and unimaginative compositional work (so many of their contemporaries favour).  Whilst it does remind me of some of (our finest Electro.) acts, it is very much their own beast- following off (from where their previous track) left off- a natural step and progression.  MEAGHA seems a perfect fit: her voice the natural light that guides Evaporate.  Not just sensual and sensitive, the voice rises and peaks- the high notes and crystalline and delicate; her most impassioned moments belt out with pure force and emotion.  A singer with mobility and huge range; there is no second-fiddle here: not a collaborator who is there to merely provide some vocals (to benefit an artist’s composition).  MEAGHA showcases her full range of tricks: she perfectly fits into the song; making sure her voice perfectly complements the (music around her).  Before the 3:00 marker, she is at her most bird-like: her high-pitched coo stirs and glides.  Vocal lines blend (and interact): powerful rises meet with swooning moments; she intersects inside her own voice, adding layers and beauty to Evaporate.  The composition itself never relents or slows: it mutates and evolves with ease: ensuring the listener is always keeping one eye on the foreground; one to the background.  The final minute (or so) provides a little bit of a dummy: you think the song is coming down to land (it starts to fade away a bit).  Just as you are ready to relax, it builds back up- coming off the back of some very delicate and beautiful compositional notes.  Presenting some urgent clatter; tribal percussion; street-wise clatter (and some dizzy sounds) the outro. Is a perfect final- bringing Evaporate to a memorable conclusion.  I have mentioned the likes of London Grammar and FKA twigs- this track has more in common with the latter.  In a musical sense, you can definitely draw parallels- let’s not forget FKA twigs was nominated for a Mercury Prize- which is very impressive; a popular and in-demand sound.  The innovative duo has managed to cram a lot of life, love, lust and force (from their composition): created something quite charming and beautiful.  It would be terrific to see more songs like this (appear on an album or E.P.).  A slightly different animal (to the last endeavor); Allegories prove what an inventive and wide-ranging talent they are: everything they come up with seems so natural and effortless.  It is the details and depth that impresses most: the care they put into their sounds; the subtle little diversions (few of us may notice at first).  Were it them singing (and meant in no offensive way at all) the track may not have been as memorable- it (is a song) that cries out for a female voice.  Clearly keen to select the RIGHT voice, MEAGHA is the perfect Siren- a singer I would like to hear a lot more from.  Not just your average throw-everything-into-the-mix-and-hope-for-the-best singer (like so many out there) she is a vibrant and stunning talent- and surely must rejoin with Allegories in future days.  Sexy and vibrant, shy and vulnerable: she is a voice that can do just about anything.  Perhaps not as cloaked as her colleagues, I would encourage MEAGHA to put out her own music: get into the studio and let the world discover that gripping voice.  For now, the two sides come together to give us something quite of-the-moment- Evaporate certainly does not fade from the mind.  What is in store (for both Allegories and MEAGHA): who knows, eh?  MEAGHA has clearly enjoyed her time with Allegories- from what she relates on Twitter- so let’s not rule out (them working together down the line).  Evaporate is a song for here and now: something that is perfect for spring night; the dream of summer and all it could bring- a song we all need to hear.

After investigating Evaporate– and Allegories at their strongest- I am excited for their future: let’s hope they expand their social media accounts (gives us a bit more personal information and background).  Their music is (indeed fantastic) and hopefully they (with MEAGHA) will come to the U.K. – there are crowds waiting for them.  In our scene- over here at least- there is a dominance of Pop and Rock- Synth.-Pop is not a genre as popular (as it should be).  Artists like Allegories should be embraced more: their sounds and style is ready-made for summer; capable of uniting dancefloors- turning bad moods (into good ones).  Canada is knocking at my door- there are plenty of great musicians out there- and showing themselves to be (one of the most) fervent music nations out there.  MEAGHA is a voice (and talent) that deserves greater exposure: a stunning and scintillating singer with a big future.  Whether the two parties collaborate in the future- or work solo- is anyone’s guess: they should definitely conjoin again.  What more is there to say?  Evaporate is a memorable and incredible slice of Electro.-Pop: a song that could soundtrack clubs and dancefloors (and invigorate crowds).  Let’s hope the camera-shy Allegories succumb to popularity: crank out some new music as soon as possible.  They are musicians that have a great (and original sounds): capable of gaining popularity beyond their native land- a sound that is universal and nuanced.  In a music scene (with more than enough bland and vague sounds) it is refreshing to come across something fresh and alert: music that demands attention (and repeated plays).  Whether you are ‘for’ or ‘against’ (scant and thin online portfolios) it is the music that stands the test of time- and the most important facet.  On the evidence of Evaporate, the Canadians are on a surge…

LONG may it continue!


Follow Allegories:







Follow MEAGHA:


Track Reviews: Hannah Dorman- Take Control/Save The Day


Hannah Dorman

Title Here 

Take Control/Save The Day



9.4/10.0- 9.3/10.0


Take Control is available at:

Released: 1st March, 2015

Save The Day is available at:

Released: 15th March, 2015





HAVING just about ‘recovered’ from the (bombshell that was) Muse’s new single (Psycho)…

It suddenly dawned on me: I have heard this (song) before.  I love the band (especially their older/mid-career work) yet am a little ambivalent: Psycho sounds (like a retread of) Uprising- their lead-off track from (their 2009 album, The Resistance).  There is that (same bounce intoxicating) bounce: similar riffs; plenty of spunk-cum-grit- with added expletives.   There is no denying Psycho is a beautiful thing: a hard-arsed and heavy kick to the teeth; an intro. That borrows into the brain- a track that demands fist-pumping and vermillion rage.  Among its primeval (and political) swagger, there are some ‘drawbacks’: chief among them is its immobility.  In trying to ‘recreate their best days’ they have, rather concerning, replicated them- rather than evolved naturally.   Critics (and reviewers) have noted- with regards the track- some of its ‘cheesier’ lyrics (phrases like “your ass is mine” appear); the rederivation (of their past work) – the all-too-familiar bombast.  That all said (it sounds like a critical backlash): I love the song.  It is a granite boulder to the face; a much-needed re-injection of British Rock (Royal Blood can’t do all the work?).  In the ‘new music realm’ (these kind of moments) come in different forms.  Solo artists have impressed me lately: their determination and sounds are some of the most fascinating (being introduced into music).  Perhaps their majesty does not emanate from a hellacious riff: moreover a delicate vocal; an inspiring lyric.  In the U.K., we are spoiled for choice: the new solo artists coming through offer much variation, spice and wonder.  Most of the ‘best and brightest’ are coming from the larger cities- Manchester, Leeds, London etc.- 2015 will see that change.  Over the past few weeks, I have been rather uplifted: many of my music (online contacts) are coming up the ranks- and hitting their stride.  Surrey’s Chess (Fran Galea), Emma Stevens and Elena Ramona (are all making big plans) – showing the music world what they are made of.  It is heartening and humbling to see: the young crop gaining momentum and leverage.  Too much focus is paid to the ‘stars’ and big names: those we are all (over-) familiar with.  Last year was a rather mediocre one- with regards mainstream music- so eyes are casting their sights farther afield.  Now so (more than ever), new musicians are in vogue– and getting their chance to grab attention.  I am always looking around for a new sound- moments of accidental beauty- something quite stunning (it can be a hard task in new music at the best of times).  The new, young females (18-25) are leading the charge: producing finer- and stronger material- than their male counterparts.  Their words (and lyrics) seem more original; their voices more distinct (and less homogenised) – their compositions richer, (more) varied; more nuanced.  My featured artist is making herself heard…

Title Here

Dorman has been keeping busy (as of late).  In addition to perform (around Surrey and London), she has recorded two new videos (to be reviewed anon).  The first time I experienced Dorman was when her E.P. (Words) was released.  Impressed by the ambition and originality (of the release), I was compelled: determined to seek out (more of her music).  Many critics (and radio stations) have been stunned by Dorman’s sound: a young artist touching Country-Rock with such conviction and flair.  So many contemporaries tend to veer towards Pop/Soul: few investigate Country and take on this genre.  Dorman does not merely ‘dabble’ with the genres: you can tell how much she loves them; how much they mean to her.  Before I continue, let me introduce (Dorman) to you:

British Country Rock singer songwriter Hannah Dorman brings her unique style to the genre. With the emphasis on pop rock, there’s a dusting of country to be heard in all her songs. Lyrically mature, honest and relatable, Hannah delivers her songs with her distinct raw vocal power and a personable presence. This dedicated singer will draw you in with catchy melodies and a driven rhythm section.
Her inspiration and eclectic influences are not obvious but some give resonance to her music. With KT Tunstall as her main influence, Anastasia, Shania Twain, Pretty Reckless and Kelly Clarkson all have their place

There are a lot of female artists on the scene: many have a similar sound and sense of identity (or lack thereof).  Dorman is one of few artists that are doing things differently: taking the effort to be bold; taking on a sound that few others attempt.  This ingenuity and passion has resulted in serious plaudits: her fan numbers are swelling; fond reviews have poured in.  The coming months are sure to be exciting ones: the young artist (surely will be planning) for big things; perhaps a new record.  The momentum- Dorman is gaining at present- has seen her social media fan-base grow- many new listeners and supporters are coming in.  It will be exciting to see where she will go next: whether she moves to London; performs internationally- puts out an L.P.

Dorman’s current movements are impressive and hugely promising.  She has kept her distinct and true sound: the heroine sounds more assured and relaxed; stronger in her skin.  While Dorman’s previous work is filled with wonderful moments, her latest videos hint at fresh inspiration: her voice seems stronger (somehow); her intent and conviction (at an all-time high).  In assessing Dorman’s current development, it is worth looking back (at her previous work).  Rent This Space was unveiled a few months ago- it has been met with applause and fond regard.  It is not hard to see why (the song is so popular).  Those familiar (with Dorman’s sapling work) will find much to treasure.  The song begins with romantic swell: a woozy and heartfelt build occurs; the track grows in anticipation and pride.  Dorman’s strong and impassioned vocals steal the show: making each word and thought filled with conviction and emotion.  Backed by a stunning and tight (band performance), it is a terrific track.  Looking at regret and transitory passion: Dorman is merely (renting space in someone’s heart) and advises caution.  Scarred- by previous heartache and loss- it is clear she does not want to repeat events- and advises (here beau/subject) – of this fact.  One Thing (On Your Mind) was released a year ago: it is a song that shows Dorman at her most direct.  The song begins with crackle and stutter: it rolls and rollicks; judders and sways- keeping the listener on their toes.  Perhaps inspired by real-life events, Dorman is retracting the advances (of an overly-eager young man); pushing against a cloying longing.  Perhaps I have misinterpreted: it sounds like a track inspired by a specific subject (someone perhaps that has caused some pain and upheaval).  Not bogged down with mordent anger, the composition is fresh and alert; summery and breezy- packed with plenty of punch and gravel.  Complete with a contemporary vibe, the influence of Shania Twain and Kelly Clarkson comes out- Dorman displays her distinct personality and skin (without sounding too much like anyone else).  Words was my first exposure the young artist: her stunning E.P. was packed with nuance, strength (and memorable moments).  In My Place boasts a catchy and instant introduction- it spares no time in lodging inside your mind.  Wordless vocals mix with dreamy sighs- Dorman is at her introspective best.  Thinking things will be better (with someone else in her place); there is a sense of regret: the song never feels overwhelmed or heavy-handed.  Maybe is a gentler and more sedate animal: a romantic song filled with longing.  Flowing wave-like, the song never lets go: Dorman herself will never cease.  Over the last two years, Dorman has grown as an artist.  Already a unique and stunning songwriter (from the earliest days), she has become more confident and distinct- she sounds (on her new tracks) bolder and sassier; stunning and sensual.  Her live performances- and impressive work-rate- has cemented her sound: her voice has grown stronger; her flair and passion emphasised.

Title Here

If you are unfamiliar with Dorman (and her body of work): a few of her ‘influences’ may fill the cracks.  Inspired by the U.K. Country-Rock of K.T. Tunstall, Dorman possesses a similar sass and conviction: that energy and multifarious songwriting.  Inspired by U.S. acts such as Shania Twain, The Pretty Reckless (and Kelly Clarkson), Dorman instills a little (of each) into her own sound.  When her songs are at their toughest, you can hear shades of The Pretty Reckless.  When (Dorman’s voice) rises and powers, suggestions of Clarkson come out.  Normally- in this section of the review- I expand on this point (why someone sounds like their idols) yet Dorman is quite different: it is very hard to compare her with anyone.  Only taking (the slightest essence) from each artist, Dorman is clearly her own woman: a songwriter indebted to nobody.  This distinction and originality has resonated with critics (and listeners) – and makes her songs so impressive.

Arriving fresh (and hot off) the press, Dorman’s latest songs have come to the fore- her first new material for a few months.  After performing around Surrey and London, Dorman has gained some fresh confidence and inspiration- Take Control bristles with vigour and directness.   Beginning with a Rock-infused introduction, the mood starts to come down: Dorman steps into the spotlight.  Elongating and stretching her voice, the messages coming through loud and clear.  Backed by her band cohorts, our heroine has some clear advice: if you want to do it for yourself (and keep in control), then it is within your reach.  Motivational and uplifting, this (inspiring coda) is supported by a passionate and soulful vocal- Dorman sounds rich and filled with intent.  As the song progresses, some doubts creep in: whether (the subject) is trying their hardest; truly alright.  Letting her voice hit (crystalline highs) and soar upwards, you get a real sense of imagery and story: imagining someone lacking that extra self-confidence; demure and reserved somewhat.  Whether- referring to a sweetheart or friend- there is some ambiguity within: whether a lover is not (as strong as they should be) or whether a friend doubts their potential.  Letting Dorman’s voice shine, the band provides ample support: the performance is consistently tight and strong.  Never encroaching into the mix, the boys ensure they drive the song forward (the percussion is particular noteworthy and punchy) – there is a clear bond and understanding (between the players).  Enraptured in her own tale, Dorman’s voice shine beautifully: switching between delicate swoon and belting highs; natural and genuine with each gear change.  The band (in this video) look at ease and fired-up: there is no sense of loose edges or nerves.  The simpatico and fraternal bond (they share with their sibling) results in an incredible performance: Dorman herself sounds- and looks- completely at ease (in front of the microphone).  When speaking of intentions- saying one thing yet doing another- there is a real longing in the vocal (as though Dorman has had her heart broken; been let down by someone).  Perhaps I am off the mark; it is clear there is a need for improvement (from her subject)- yet Dorman does not seem too concerned (whether they try harder; she seems determined to carry on regardless).  Making sure notes and lines (stick in the mind) the track- and chorus especially- is a catchy and swaying affair- mixing U.S. Country sunshine with British Rock granite.  That summer-cum-rain juxtaposition blends superbly: at one moment you are smiling widely; the next rooting for our heroine.  The track has a great sense of rhythm, movement and dynamic: going down to a soften kiss; building up to a fevered chant.  Towards the latter stages, Dorman keeps her focus clear: that chorus is re-injected and repeated- its messages designed to resonate and affect.  As the band whip up the decibels (for one last round) you find yourself longing (to repeat the song) – it has a sense of brevity and tease (in spite of it being nearly 4 minutes long).  Closest in tone (to songs like Rent This Space) Dorman sounds comfortable and assured when powering and soaring- expanding on the promise of her previous E.P.  Take Control has oomph and panache; that killer touch and sweet touch- topped off with a tight-knit (band performance) and stunning lead vocal.  Keep the language and lyrics direct and simple (yet complete with originality, depth and wisdom), Dorman is a wise head on young shoulders: someone who knows how to win a smile with as few words as possible.

In contrast to Take Control– and its deterministic motifs- Save The Day is a softer track (and reminds me of her Words-era work).  Keen to revisit her early days- yet showcase her galvanised conviction and confidence- the vocal is queen (once more).  Beginning with an acoustic-lead seduce, the song sees Dorman in reflective voice: asking (the song’s subject) why they need to escape; there is a lingering sense of trepidation and concern.  Once more elongating and hanging (her words), it is hard not be romanced by its power and longing- the vocal is dripping with honey and chocolate tones.  Building its structure and pace, the band come (more into) the fray- offering support and aural weight.  As Dorman looks around her- and a focal point who seems to be on their way- you sense some unease and disbelief.  Perhaps knowing all too well; when it comes (to the song’s subject) she will not believe “a word you say.”  Like its predecessor, Save The Day has a hint of mystery and autobiography: whether an ex-flame (or friend) is being assessed, it is hard to determine.  Whether the story is autobiographical, you cannot doubt the credentials of the vocal: truth and meaning come through in each line; the need to make a very real point.  Unlike a lot of her peers- who prefer to rush their songs; bury the vocal amidst a wave of guitars and sound- Dorman lets the track breathe and resonate.  The band (once more) keep everything in check; make sure the song progresses with intent- there is a sparseness that is to be commended.  Allowing her voice and words to shine brightest, you are allowed to get inside the song- the track almost pulls you into the studio (or in this case, has you watching the music video being filmed).  Proving she is nobody’s fool, our heroine is keen to be heard: she has been played before; had her trust abused- this is almost a cautionary tale.  The final seconds see the band infusing subtle little moves: electric guitar licks; some subtle percussion; sturdy- and guiding- bass notes- making sure everything is fluid and full-bodied (until the end).  Keen for the chorus (to be sung and remembered) it possessed a charm and sense of catchiness.  Once more (like Take Control), there is a mix of simplicity and depth: a knowledge and love of Country-Rock; delivered with an original and striking voice.

Title Here

Tomorrow (when my next review is up) I will be stepping away from the U.K. – circumnavigating the musical waters of Central America; taking my mind somewhere new.  Music reviewing gives me the chance to (metaphorically) travel: I always prefer keeping my feet (close to) home- discovering what local musicians are producing.  Dorman is a young and eager talent: somebody with plenty of potential.  Her natural beauty and charm (will help her massively); her innate talent is evident- she is a distinct and structured artist.  Too many singers- in terms of new music- mimic their idols: come across as second-rate sound-alike.  In a busy (and cut-throat) scramble, you need to be distinct- Dorman understands this.  Throughout this year, Dorman will be honing her craft: coming up with new sounds and planning her future.  On the evidence (of a duo of songs) I am deeply impressed: surely a shining star of the future?  Her music- and natural, incredible sound- is striking and memorable: the ‘small details’ really hit home.  So many musicians neglect social media- do not bother coming up with an official website.  Dorman’s (official site) is well-designed and clear: allowing new listeners an insight into her work, world- and social media outlets.  Put all this together- coupled with the fact she is young and creatively fertile- and you know (she will be making) big waves.  The corpulent demands of music-lovers put pressure on new acts- so many works their backsides off to impress.  Dorman has a refreshing sense of confidence and ease: few artists sound as assured and intimate.  For now we have (a selection of songs) to enjoy: it will not be long until E.P.s and albums are forthcoming- and a selection of high-profile gigs.  If Muse are struggling- to reinvent their sturdy wheels- then Dorman is an artist who will face (no such issue) – her mobility and wide-ranging talent is evident.  I shall conclude with a thought: that which concerns British music.  Our nation has always been at the forefront (when it comes to phenomenal music) alongside the U.S. – this is especially true of the new crop.  Bands have always (seemed to dominate) public attention- solo acts are starting to redress the balance.  If you are looking for artists (who are very much) a much-of-a-muchness- you have your options covered.  Those seeking something refreshing have to dig a little deeper: surrender to the fortuideness of social media/word-of-mouth.  With acts (like Dorman) coming through, I am less fearful- there are plenty of great artists (out there).  Dorman will not be thinking too far ahead (keeping her feet planted) yet she should be proud of her current output- it indicates a stunning and original voice.  Among the slew of (unoriginal and predictable) musicians, it is great to discover something distinct- that sticks in the memory.  Her evolution may be commencement, but one thing is clear…

HER particular brand of music is much in demand.




Follow Hannah Dorman:







Title Here





Life (Re-)Begins At… 32?

Life (Re-)Begins at… 32?



Having lived (up until now) a somewhat ‘comfortable’ (read: inopportune) life, I have reached a plateau: it is time (to not only talk about change) but to do it- and start being ‘happy’


FOR the past twenty-six hours I have had a (rather drum ‘n’ bass) headache…

This bad-ass little ingrate has been gnarling at my brain: causing quite a cyclone (of annoyance and reflection).  I do not believe in fate, destiny (or anything as unproven and ridiculous as that): I do believe in circumstance- if stress is causing you pain; do something about it.  In seven-or-so weeks I will be 32: quite an unspectacular age- nobody really does ‘celebrates’ that.  I always saw (being 30) as a milestone- in a rather arbitrary way- of accomplishment: so many people (including me) have a ‘Things to do before you’re 30’ list.  When I look back on it, I realise one thing: I have achieved (none of them).

It seems I have been living in a bit of a rut.  Tomorrow is (another dreaded Monday) and a chance to be quite depressed: a new working week never fills me with (anything other than upset).  I do not detest my job, yet I feel like I am wasting my time.  I am constantly stressed and agitated: I work around some VERY noisy people- the stream-of-consciousness throat-clearing/nose-unblocking is an all-day asylum trip.  Being someone (who is filled with sociopathic rage) but loud people/irritable noises, it is not a fun life.  Earning a meagre wage (I know I am lucky to have a job; yet I earn bugger-all for it) and living/working in an area I do not particularly like, I am feeling like a burden (to myself).   Just recently (I have been inspired by) a blog post- from our very own Jameela Jamil- entitled ‘A Time for Change’ (   In it, she recalls a rather fateful visit to the doctor’s: when a moment of mortality focus forced her into a rather life-changing decision.  ‘Abandoning’ (well: taking a sojourn from) her London life, she decided to relocate to L.A. – take a one-way trip to the U.S.- and fulfil a life-long dream.  It is interesting how hard times (and scary moments) produce moments of clarity- epiphanies, if you will.

(On a brief sidebar: take a look at Jameela’s blog posts/entries- they are eye-opening, extremely mature and intelligently-written).

I have recently written to Jameela-forgetting she was no longer in London; she may never get my letter- as she is one of this country’s biggest talents: someone dedicated to helping others; a fighter of many-a-cause.  Hoping (that she will lend her name/voice to my charity idea- more below), I was inspired by her words: she has been very brave and courageous.  Too many people live life ‘for the hell of it’; go through the (com)motions- never really ‘go for it’.  I hope Jameela gets to see this (blog post) as her words have given me that ‘push’: compelled me to stop messing about.  For the last few years I have been caught in a cycle of boring-job-hollow-life-procrastination-London-avoiding-unhappy-me quagmire: how long can you keep doing that?  Most people do not know what they want from life (and need to stick in their comfort zone), but I do…


Nothing in life is more important (to me than music): it is the one thing (on earth) that unites people- even if you do not like music (and are a freak of a human) then you have an opinion (on it).  Music does not ask for anything or bug you; it does not break your heart or cause you pain (well, in a good way it does)- it is always there; ready to make you happy.  I love my ‘part-time’ reviewing (at  Just today, I (had the pleasure of) reviewing The Jackobins: a Liverpool quintet of the highest order.  Next week I am reviewing a Canadian band (in fact, Canadian music is filing the month of March for me).  Over the last several years I have reviewed music from five continents; reviewed Royal Blood (before they became studs); have helped (in an indirect way) to get bands/acts heard- and get people knocking at their doors.  It is a rewarding- and sometimes tiring- venture: something I aim to ‘perfect’ (I have not really hit my peak yet).

Music-making is my main desire: I have always longed to ‘get the band together’.  I have the band name; I have the album title- and fourteen songs worked-up- and all the cover art (and designs figured out).  Presuming at some stage (I can overcome my stage fright/nerves) I want to make ‘music-making’ a reality- eve n if I record one L.P., it will be a (literal) dream come true.  Music recording is a full-time job; it requires a lot of passion, determination (you will get knocked back a lot) and money (something a lot of my music peeps are finding out the hard way).  As soon as I can get to London, I want to get some boys (and girls) together: get jamming and make (my songs) a reality.  It sounds like a cliché- a rather over-seen dream- but (to my mind) there is no better vocation- it is truly spellbinding.


I do not enjoy living (where I live) – around Surrey and West Sussex.  It is too homogenized; there is little ambition; too many ‘unhealthy’/loud people; little surprise, awe and spectacle.  I know London is not exactly quiet: the thing is, it is busy for a reason.  There are rough parts of the city for sure- I would not live around Elephant and Castle for a second- and there are a lot of expensive parts.  In addition (to some cool people advising the push to London) they have said Hackney is a great part to rent (in)- it is not too expensive; it is up-and-coming; not as ‘reputable’ as it once was (with regards violence and crime).  Shoreditch is quite ‘do-able’, too- in reality I would live in Covent Garden (yet would never be able to afford it unless I went on the game, and let’s be fair, I wouldn’t make enough!).  Hackney is vibrant and multi-cultural; you can find charming coffee shops (devoid of screeching children, selfish parents and Smartphone-staring simps.); feed off the relaxation/vibrancy and become inspired.  Being close (to the centre of town) it is a good ‘starting point’: a good jumping-off point (and a place where you can meet like-minded people).  London is fantastic because it is filled with ambitious people; humans who share (the same) drive; thoughts and feelings- who understand why you are there; do not laugh/ignore your ambitions and dreams.  A cozy/affordable place around Hackney would be great- an opportunity to start a-new.


‘Being single can be good for you’ they say: being single can suck one.  I have been solo for… well, ever.  Being single is only beneficial in contrast (to having been in) a relationship- a chance to heal wounds; clear your head and think about yourself.  I admire those that are independent; who do not rely on someone to make them happy- do not need validation through romance.  I used to be one of these people: recently I have developed feelings for (sounding like a Hallmark card here) a particular girl; someone I work with- someone who does all sorts of funny things with my insides (although it may just be because of my poor diet).  Having someone in your life can make things easier: you have someone to talk to; wake up to/with; share your desires with- and travel the world with.  Whether the tableaux of she-who-will-remain-nameless pans out (being me, it probably won’t) is immaterial: I am at that stage where I want to find love; be in a relationship.  I am not bothered about marriage; I never want to have children (I don’t like them and would never want to risk passing my depression to them; seeing them suffer that)- I just want to be someone’s ‘other half’.  Being stressed-out suffocates your energy; timetables your mood- and makes relationships near-impossible.  I hope a move to London/a new lease will take care of ‘the love issues’- and lead to a relationship (I can only hope).


Before I conclude (and stop rambling) I must confess: I have been a bit of a coward.  I have not been looking after my mental health (obviously) – having depression and generalised anxiety disorder is not fun- and am tired of it (the endless headaches are enough to make me want to crawl into a hole).  My physical health takes a hit (because of depression) yet I could be doing more.  I am committed to becoming vegetarian: in truth I do not like the taste of meat and feel my moral objections are not being fulfilled.  I eat far too much sugar- to the point where my heart should have exploded- and although I run half-marathons, I could be A LOT fitter: I am always in fear of ‘bad news’.  Like Jameela, I have had one of those heart-stopping moments (in her case it was a lump on her breast; for me a mole on my arm- my aunt died of skin cancer).  Cancer is an unholy fucker: an arsehole that bullies and (whilst I do not have it) the merest suggestion scares the hell out of me.  Living the way I do- the office job; the unhappiness- I am a person who eats crap and does little to override it.  My physique is pretty good (not to boast) yet my internal organs are a potential blitzkrieg of living-on-borrowed-time wannabes.  I realise I am fault: I have been too gutless to take care of myself.  Moving away will allow me to detox and re-evaluate: become vegetarian (properly); cut down on sugar (and caffeine) and start feeling better inside- the better you feel inside, the better you feel on the outside (or is it the other way around?).


Lastly- and the real reason for this blog- is my desire to ‘do more’: try to make changes in the world.  I consider myself to be an altruistic human.  I regularly run half-marathons (for charity); spend the weekends doing good deeds/doing good; try to promote new music as much as humanely possible- get involved with charity; make sure my colleagues and family are looked after.  In addition (to making music and reviewing new music) I want to dive into charity work: do as much for others as I can.  Recently, I posted a blog entitled The Single Voice: a (hopeful) online charity campaign designed to raise (potentially millions) for multiple charities.  Seeing the likes of Jameela Jamil campaign and write; raise important issues; write so eloquently and intelligently, has compelled me to start this puppy.  Her- and my- contemporaries are becoming more motivated; starting to become conscious (of the turmoil and dislocation around us) – yet more can be done.  Not to blow my own trumpet- like Louis Armstrong on crystal meth- but the details are all here:

I am determined to make it a reality: get this idea global; connect people around a single cause.  I am neither an idealistic human (I am as pragmatic as they come) nor a naïve idiot- I am someone who hears a human scream and it kills the crap out of me.  A cat crying scars me; a cancer diagnosis destroys me; gender inequality enrages me- so many ills and inequities occur around us.  It is asking a lot- that a single campaign can change/improve that- yet I am hopeful!  On Friday I will be posting two letters: one will be to the H.Q. of YouTube; the other to the (H.Q. of) Google- pitching the idea and asking for their help.  I am the most ambitious human on earth- and will probably never hear a reply/word- but am not going to silence my inner voice… I will keep barking and yelling until someone takes notice.  I will be writing to a few celebrities; hoping they can assist (when the idea becomes a reality).

Most people do not crystalise their ambitions so effusively (and in detail), but as I write this I have a grinding headache; my shoulders are sagging- I am drowning out (the throat-clearing noises and endless noise of my living space) with music… it is a horribly tense and pointless life.  Why just live for the sake of breathing- there is no point being where you are (doing what you do) if you are miserable and angry.  Tomorrow is Monday- and a soul-destroying chance to hate myself- as it will be in eight days- change will not come about instantly.  I know what I want; who I want to be- what I want to achieve.  On May 9th I will be 32: with no a lot to shout about.  I know I am not old- and have youth on my side- but need to start making moves; getting my shit together and being a better, brighter, happier and more practical human.  There are plenty of years to do boring jobs; live in boring places- that time is decades down the line.  Small things- like a blog from a celebrity; a moment of realisation- can make big differences; get the cogs moving- force you into action.  I hope people will read this- and if they are like me, be inspired- I hope Jameela sees it- although she may never do- and above all I (hope this): 2015 will be a year to remember.

I have yawned and yacked for long enough.  Recently someone said to me: “You’re only young once.”  Translation: what the hell are you doing being angry all of the time?!  It is hard to make changes- most people don’t- but it can change things for the better… I deserve some peace and happiness (right?).  Have a great Sunday night- now Top Gear is off air, what the hell am I going to watch?!- and enjoy the pre-work (Monday) blues.  If I can (decide to make changes/get better) then so can anyone.  Whether you make a minor change (or about-face your life) it is worth the risk.  Who knows what will happen?  One thing is for sure:

IT will all be worth it (in the end) x




E.P. Review: The Jackobins- Ghosts



The Jackobins






Ghosts is available at:


The Otherside- 9.5

She Always Says- 9.4




Ghosts, Prussia



13th December, 2014

Alternative, Rock




IT seems like a (bit of a) lottery in the music scene…

with regards success.  So many acts face a hard and long wait: see if the public will warm to their music; take them on board- ensure they are successful.  I have reviewed a host of wonderful and diverse acts: some have potential for immediate success- many may have to wait a little longer.  With social media being freely available: it seems like a mixed blessing.  Too many people (who use Facebook and Twitter) tend to be a little slack: many great acts and artists are overlooked (and not shared with their followers).  I love how social media can mobilise the masses; get music shared quickly- too many people are not using it effectively.  Too many great musicians are languishing in the realms of compartmentalisation: having their sounds shared with clans and (small groups).  It is impossible to promote ALL the great and good: it is easy to do more; help more musicians- put a greater effort in.  If the users of social media do not (do their due diligence) then the music must shout loudest: blow away cynical cobwebs.  This year is going to be a great one (for new music) and promises some terrific discovery: something for everyone will be available.  The likes of The Libertines and Radiohead are preparing new albums; last year’s warriors (Royal Blood) are still ringing in the ears- it seems that Alternative/Rock sounds are still very much (in vogue)- the most sought-after sounds (by the general public).  Solo artists have their fans and followers, yet it is the ‘harder’ bands that do bigger business: seem to unite a greater number; prick the ear more readily and eagerly.  Maybe tradition and history has a lot to answer for- bands like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones being so influential- or perhaps that (harder sounds) is what people go for- we seem to gravitate towards very particular sounds.  My featured band are one of the most vibrant and exciting bands of the moment.  Before I go into more depth, let me introduce them:

Vocals – Dominic Bassnett

Guitar – Veso

Keys – John Whittingham

Bass – Chris Marriott

Drums – Marc Terry

Regarded as one of best upcoming bands on the unsigned scene, the Liverpool 5 piece, barely a year old has wasted no time in generating a massive buzz about themselves. Substantial live and social media following has established the band as of the several acts considered to break out big in 2015.
The Jackobins have appeared on BBC, XFM, Amazing Radio alongside a wide variety of other FM and online radio stations across the U.K and have regular airplay at Anfield infront of an audience of over 45k. They have been featured in numerous magazines and blogs and have just seen off their first tour of more than 15 dates, in which the band sold out 3 shows, including their home town. The Jackobins have managed to secure several festivals slots for 2015 and have so far played alongside The Rifles, Dexters, Flagship to name a few. 2014 saw the band play more than 50 shows across the U.K in total.

The Jackobins first official release came in on the 13th of Dec 2014 in the format of a four track E.P titled “Ghosts”. The E.P was recorded in The Motor Museum (Arctic Monkeys, Oasis, Jake Bugg, 1975), mastered by Robin Scmitdt (owner of several Grammy awards) and has been received with much critical acclaim. The release has pushed the band into several different charts and propelled them on the road towards much deserved national and international recognition.  With another release on the cards, plans for a second tour in motion and so many upcoming festivals, The Jackobins and their fans sure have a lot to look forward to in 2015.”

With a sharp, informative (and well-designed) webpage; loads of social media coverage- a terrific body of music- it is not a surprise the boys are riding a huge wave.  Liverpool (historically at least) has always produced tremendous music: recently, the likes of London and Manchester have been stealing the limelight.  Wasting little time, The Jackobins have shot to prominence: amassing thousands of online followers and being touted as (one of the best new acts) on the block.  In addition to them being a savvy bunch (with regards their social media strategy) it is their music that has resonated- won so many hearts and minds.  I am predicting a huge year for the five-piece: they have a festival-ready sound that means they are assured glory.  Stadium gigs and prestigious dates await: the lads have confidence, ammunition- and bags of natural talent.  Having generated a huge buzz, their E.P. (Ghosts) is the culmination of their force and passion- a record that is setting critical tongues wagging.

(The band’s) self-titled E.P. was unleashed last year, and gave impressions of what they were about: all that promise and energy was cemented from the get-go.  Gaining some impressive reviews (and kind words) the band would have been inspired- they have grown in confidence (since their debut).  Many bands- when they are starting out- put out cover versions: the band have gone in direct and confidentially.  Wanting to spare no time with other people’s material; the lads want the world to hear THIER thoughts and ideas.  Their first impressions are incredibly encouraging: they point to a band that has a terrific voice; a sense of identity and intention- plenty of punch, melody and passion.  When it comes to (the band’s) influences, The Jackobins have quite an impressive list:

The Stone Roses, The Verve, Radiohead, The Doors, Hendrix, Nick Drake, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, Queen, Led Zeppelin, The Who, QOTA, Nirvana, The Rolling Stones, Tom Petty, Kula Shaker, Fleetwood Mac, Neil Young, Black Sabbath, Jack White, The Black Crowes, Stevie Ray Vaughn, The Libertines, The Killers, David Bowie, The Velvet Underground, Pink Floyd, Kasabian, R.E.M.

It is clear (the band has) incredible taste in music: it would be unfair to say they are the inferior comparisons.  What The Jackobins do is to instill a dose of each act- incorporate Zeppelin-esque swagger; Radiohead’s ‘90s edge; The Stone Roses’ confidence and magic.  A lot of new acts tend to have homogenised and narrow influences: they have shallow record collections and tend to display a hollow ear for legendary sounds.  Those acts tend to touch few; have limited success- scant creativity and flair.  The bands that have a great spectrum of influence have bigger potential: if they can rein-in (their mass of influences) then they connect more readily.  The Jackobins have a great range of idols- from the ‘60s to modern-day- and utilize this in their music.  Injecting plenty of (their own) personality and panache, the boys drizzle essences of (the greats) to create something quite unique- yet music that seems familiar and classic.  Ghosts is an E.P. that gets out of the blocks; it lodges in your brain- sounds bracing and uplifting; deep and thoughtful.  With so much emotion, nuance and diversity (in their music) it is no shock the lads are so popular- that can only improve throughout 2015.

Jingle, gleam and vibrant chimes (open The Otherside): a track filled with early promise and energy.  Employing elements of The Who and Led Zeppelin (during their Led Zeppelin III regency) the intro. is a compelling and striking moment-  leading to an immediate and emotive vocal.  Our front-man is in impassioned and imploring mood.  Speaking words like (“yesterday’s gone”), the band summon up a dizzying array of colours and notes: backing our man in his pleas and implores.  There is a slightly ambiguity and mystery to the lyrics: in my mind, I see a sweetheart (past or present) being spoken to- someone who is not grabbing life by the throat.  There is inspiration and advice; redemption and hope- plenty of passion.  Words speak of ‘shackles’ and vices: the need to escape imprisonment and confines; escape the past- get to the other side.  Never ignoring its energetic and fast-flowing pace, the track boats a memorable and unique vocal take- you would be hard-pressed to compare Bassnett to any other singers.  His range and intent is to be admired: the band is up to the task and equal- making sure there are no wasted notes.  Repeated codas; unique vocals; summery sounds- the song is hard to escape and overlook.  Big in its own soul; focused and strong-willed: it is a song designed to unite the masses in song.  Already proving itself a fan favourite: The Otherside is a perfect statement of intent- a song that displays all the band’s key facets and attributes.  Overcome and gripped by the drama and mood, the listener is buoyed and uplifted: a song to welcome summer in with a huge smile.

With some wordless chanting, She Always Says arrives with little hesitation and build-up: it gets straight to the races.  Showcasing the energy and alacrity of its predecessor, the track ramps up the serotonin: makes sure the listener is stood to attention.  The Jackobins are a band that looks for urgency and immediacy: their songs instantly stick in the mind; no time to build and sculpt.  This sense of urgency- combined with tight and emphatic band performances- makes tracks like She Always Says so catchy and memorable.  Melting early-days Counting Crows (with some ‘60s flavours); our hero ventures down Chester Street- to the door of his girl (whose mother insists “she’s out”).  Whether (our hero) has done wrong- or whether his girl is tease- you get the sense of forbidden love- maybe a rift has occurred.  This sense of story and drama juxtaposes with the gleeful mood: the listener is left curious and compelled.  As the track progresses, our man seems wracked and anxious: returning to his hometown (and old haunts) you get a sense of the Ghosts motif- things are abandoned and changed; the locals are gone and everything has passed over.  Perhaps looking at bygone days; lamenting the loss of love and youth, (the E.P.’s title) has depth and meaning: each new track reveals a different side; a new ghost; a troubled heart.  Here, there is a real sense of change and dislocation- two lovers are separated by geography, maturity and personality.  Our front-man seems genuinely tormented and pained: how he longs to reclaim the older days; reclaim some of the youthful glory- it seems that this will never happen.  As the song reaches its dying moments, the band keep the atmosphere rushing and boisterous- making sure things end with a positive (and vibrant) edge.

The title track is next up: and one of the E.P.’s standout moments.  Beginning with some romance, tranquility and ethereal chill, the intro. builds and mutates.  From its eerie and tender beginnings, it leads to a chorus of wordlessness (ghostly chants, if you will).  With some ladishness and (Wild Beats-style) vocals, our front-man comes to the fore.  Boasting one of the most impressive compositions- gorgeous guitar chimes; bolstering percussion; nimble bass- the track remains engaging and evert-changing: it shifts and alters direction.  Early words look (at our man and his girl) flying “so high”: they are wandering around in a dream.  Our man notes how the world is changing- as he sleeps- and ghosts are stalking the night- vivid images fill the mind.  Floating upside down; lost in a daze: this is a track that looks at loneliness, loss and change.  Whereas previous numbers have hinted at change and abandonment; here the message is more direct and unerring- tremulous vocals add to this sense of fear.  Displaying a histrionic range- and emotional palette like few other singers- you are entranced by the vocal: it adds huge plaudit and conviction to each word- whilst snaking and evolving over the course of a few seconds.  ‘Anthemic’ is a word (many critics have levied towards the band) and this is certainly true of Ghosts: a song that is designed to be a centerpiece- one of their best live tracks.  Squalling guitars take the track down- an essence of ‘Holy Bible Manic Street Preachers is in there-finished with some cosmic notes (and aching piano notes).

If you were looking for some rough edges: well here it is.  All the grit, gravel and ramble (of the likes of Zeppelin and The White Stripes) come to play- few would have excepted something like this.  Arriving with a vermillion fury, Prussia is a track that means business.  Rushing and fighting, the song looks at (“the enemy”)- our man is under the microscope here.  Being seen as an oppressor or foe, you wonder who has it in for him- perhaps a lover or old friend?  With his voice spiked and electric, Prussia keeps a level-head and stoutness: it is primal and determined Rock at its best.  Head-swinging and filmic, the track has epic pretentions: it is another song that is sure to seduce the live crowds.  Keeping its language economical and simple, the central codas are reintroduced- interspersed with some kick-ass riffs.  Throwing in some psychedelic hints; some spacey and discordant chords, the band are filled with vigour and intent.  “A place in the sun” it is said, “is all we ever want”: a sense of intrigue fills the words.  Designed to be chant-able and memorable, the boys design their words (around the needs of the crowds)- words and sentiments that come rolling from their (beer-stained) tongues.  As the band climb “higher and higher”, the composition gets busier and multifarious.  As the final notes come into view, you are still drunken by the giddiness and energy of the track- those insatiable swaggers that punch their way through the mist.  A delirious and hypnotic track, it is the perfect final- to an accomplished and incredible E.P.

With a (forthcoming date) at Tramlines booked; reviews tumbling in- the momentum (The Jackobins are collating) is vastly impressive.  Many reviewers have stated the band is primed for the festival rotation: the sort of act that crowds drink beer to; dance gleefully for; fall in love with.  There is some truth to this: The Jackobins have so much confidence and natural ability, they will transition wonderfully.  With an E.P. under their belt, the lads may want to take a breather: do some more touring and not get ahead of themselves.  A great deal of acts are languish at the edges; waiting for their break- slowly building their reputation.  The Jackobins have managed to do a lot (in such a short time): they are still infants, yet have achieved so much- drawn in so many fans.  Ghosts is a tight, focused and memorable E.P.: a quartet of tracks that demand repeated plays; get under your skin- remind you of some legendary musical moments.  The Liverpool five-piece are seamless in their performances: no loose edges; everything sounds well-rehearsed and professional.  Like all great bands, there is no hint of over-perfectionism: The Jackobins have a loose, ragged and rough side to them; giving their music greater depth and charm.  I will be interested to see where the boys go from here: if they choose to put out an album (this year) or see how the E.P. fares.  With such acclaim coming their way, the boys will not be short of options- I am sure some huge dates await.  Their music is polymathic; their lust endless and unyielding- their sound permanent and intoxicating.  Managing to sound distinct- in a scene defined by sameness and unoriginal intent- let’s hope The Jackobins keep pressing hard.  As music legends like Blur prepare to define 2015, we should not overlook the new breed: the successors to the throne.  There are few bands (and artists) as reputable and statuesque as The Jackobins: they seem to get bigger by the week.  Make sure you investigate Ghosts; seek out their spectral and supernatural vibes- and believe the hype.  The quintet has some big dates coming up; various towns (and cities) to play- who knows where they go from here?  On the evidence of their debut E.P., things look rosy and promising.  In years to come, will Reading (and Leeds) and Glastonbury be options (for the band)?  With everything that has come before; everything that is unfolding…

NOBODY would bet against them.



Follow The Jackobins:









Tour Dates:!dates/c15hi






The Single Voice: One Language… For All

The Single Voice:

“One Language… For All”

  IN a world full of people, only some want to fly…

Isn’t that crazy?

Well- to quote/mis-quote- the words of Seal: yes, it is a bit.  Over the past few months, I have been particularly devout, with regards ‘helping others’: feeling I am not doing enough to be a ‘better person’.  I enjoy my semi-regular half-marathons (I am taking on my 5th– for (the) Alzheimer’s Society- in June); I like to spend the weekends doing ‘good deeds/helping out’; I have launched a few charity/social  media campaigns- it makes me feel more useful (as a person).  One of the things that is getting me down is the unfairness of life.  A few people I know have (recently) been diagnosed with cancer; others are struggling to fulfill their dream (as a musician); others are suffering horrible illness.  I guess you can say that it’s part of life: with so many people (on the planet), not everyone can live happily/healthily.  As glib and unhelpful- advice/words like that are- it is still unacceptable (in 2015) that so many people go unnoticed: so many blights blot the world’s landscape.  I am a man who is not just committed to (supporting certain charities): I am passionate about various causes.  In addition to (supporting equal pay/rights) for women, I am passionate about animal welfare: I am dedicated to supporting (the eradication) of racism, homophobia and inequality- gun violence and social deprivation are not exactly (twin barrels) of laughs!  There seems to be a great deal of people unconcerned with ‘making a change’- at least doing very minimal motions.  When it comes to supporting causes; donating a bit of money here and there- I know exactly (of my contacts on social media) will ‘step up’- most will not bother.  I know we all have budgets- I earn less than most people I know- and it seems disheartening (so few are motivated) to do more.  I feel- as a person- that I can do a bit more: dedicate more of my free time to volunteer/get involved with campaigns and protests.  Across the world, there are some great (annual) charity campaigns.  Red Nose Day (Comic Relief) is looming large; Stand Up for Shelter and Children in Need do their part- they are hugely important events.  In so much as those events tend to focus (for the most part) of children (who are the minority of the population), they seem to capture the imagination at specific times- namely when they are televised.  For the remainder of the year, momentum tends to be lost.  Social media have tried to ‘buck the trend’.  The dreaded/loved/cold Ice Bucket Challenge was a worldwide success (last year), yet seems to have petered to a standstill: I hope people are still donating to fight A.L.S.  I have always thought- in order to perpetually unite the ranks on social media/general public- something a little longer-lasting needs to take place.  This brings me down to my point…

The Single Voice.

The campaign I want to launch is an online (one): something that anyone- neigh everyone– should be taking part in.  Whereas charity events- like Comic Relief- raise money for specific causes; this (idea) is designed to unite all charities- raise funds and awareness for all causes.  Being passionate about various charities- and angered by certain illnesses and social inequalities- I feel that certain ‘issues’ are being overlooked.  Through public engagement- and an easy but fun idea- here is a chance to raise serious awareness for important issues- raise money (to help defeat) some rather vile problems.  Rather than community events (or sponsored events) this idea uses YouTube (and videos on the site) to raise money.

How it Raises Money.

The campaign is designed to bring together YouTube, Google, Apple and Microsoft: some of the most influential and important (companies on the planet).  I will go into more depth (below) but the way (the user) raises funds is through YouTube ‘views’: every time someone views a video (you have uploaded)- 15p is donated to your chosen charity (an additional 5p is donated for every ‘like’).  YouTube is the ‘hosting site’: it is their website that is the basis of the campaign.  Google will be the ones who are donating the money.  Each user/member- who chooses to take part- will register on the main site (see below) and through advertising and increased search results, Google will gain revenue- which in turn will be donated into The Single Voice.  Companies like Google and Apple generate enormous profits each year; they do great work but have a lot of profit coming in.  Finding a (legal and non-invasive way) for them to generate more funds- by advertising and getting more ‘business’- would allow them to channel this money into the campaign.  There is the potential (for an individual) to raise millions (possible tens of millions over the campaign) for a great cause- either something at a local level; or a national issue.

The Main Site.

The initiative will have a homepage: which will be where each person goes to register.  The campaign will be shared and spread to social media, but at the first point of contact, each person would start here.  Like Facebook and Twitter, registration is painless and quick: and a great way to connect with other users and like-minded people.  The homepage will be well-designed and eye-catching.  The top half will have various links: A-Z of Charities; Contact Details; Discussion Board; Events/Fundraisers; Latest Members; Links; Generated Profit (so far).  The bottom half will be fun and interactive.  It will depict a variety of locations: a comedy club; recording studio; film set; bar etc.  The sign will be the only constant- saying The Single Voice.  Whether attached to a studio (or comedy club) the figures (that interact will be from that world).  Musicians- past and present- will interact; comedy and film icons (too)- it will be constantly changing and moving.  Each figure will be animated- giving the homepage a great two-tone look/feel.  I shall expand more/give ‘the fully skinny’ in my next blog. (middle of June).


Each person will be asked to register simple details: name, D.O.B., location; campaigns; total raised (and several others).  It will work a little like Facebook, where there is a profile page: it will be a simple process and contain plenty of information- although nothing too personal or revealing.  From the registration page, there are links to social media- where you can easily promote your page/share your success.  When all the personal details/key details are entered, then comes the ‘fun part’.  The Single Voice has the option of 25 different YouTube-based ‘initiatives’/ideas.    These will be split into categories: Film and T.V., comedy, music, miscellaneous.

Each new member is allowed to ‘sign-up’/choose five of the twenty options.  For each initiative you will be selecting a different charity (I will go into more depth later).  On the profile page will be your list of ‘initiatives’.  By each of your selections will be the total (money) you have raised; how many times your idea/entry has been shared (and how many times you have shared it).  This charity campaign will run for a year- from its launch date- and your selected charities will get donations each month (at the end of each month, however much you have raised will be donated to them).

The Initiatives.

There are twenty five different ideas- covering film, T.V., music and advertising.  As I have said, each person will be allowed to select five different ideas (from the list of twenty five).  Each person could be involved with the campaign for five years  When you register, it will ask you to select from the list- which idea/choice you want- and there will be a step-by-step guide.  It is very easy and simple to complete.  Before I explain how it is done; here is what you can choose from (among others):

Top-10 Songs.  Like Desert Island Discs and Tracks of My Years, each user gets to choose their 10 favourite/most important songs.  There is an option- on each entry- for a user to commentate/explain why they have chosen (what they have selected) but it is a great chance for the person to share their favourite songs.

New Music. This is an option that is a chance (for new music to be heard).  A person can give the world a chance to discover new music/musicians.  If a new band/act has posted to YouTube, then their music can be shared.  There is a chance to select your ten favourite songs (from new acts).

Music Videos. It is nice and simple: choose your favourite ten music videos.  Whether it is from a new band- or classic act- you get a chance to have a good think- what you consider to be the best of the breed.

Comedy. Whether it is a short clip- lasting a few seconds- or a full-length film/T.V. episode, this is comedy-orientated.  Whatever makes you laugh the most: get it uploaded!  I shall expand on this more- and what I would select- but you can choose a stand-up show; an episode of The Simpsons- or a comedic home-made video/prank.

Drama/film. Again, whether it is an episode of Breaking Bad- if they are allowed on YouTube- or a short film, this is the chance to get it shared.

Originals. This is the chance for a user to create something new- and upload to YouTube.  Not a chance for self-promotion, it is a chance to flex your creative muscles.  It can be anything you want: a mock advert; a new song; a comedy sketch- whatever you fancy.

Commercials/Misc. If you have favourite adverts then you can get them seen hear.  This option gives voice to other videos: those weird and wonderful videos- YouTube seems to proffer by the bucket-load.  Beauty blogs and ‘how-to’ videos; home-made videos can be selected.  The rules are simple: it can be anything (as long as it is not sexual, offensive, and violent- or violates YouTube’s rules).

There are- as I have mentioned- 25 different choices; appealing enough to everyone- that gives the user a chance- not only to think about their favourite music/films etc.- but discover new and exciting work. Beyond Social Media.

Of course, the point of the campaign is not to share music/film- just for the sake of it.  The idea is to raise money and awareness of causes and charities.  On the home page, you get a chance to share your ideas and videos- and raise money (each time they get a ‘view).  When you select a charity- for each entry- there is an information button: this gives you huge information and links.  If you select Diabetes U.K., then you get to find out about the charity.  There are links to their website; how to get involved in the community; how to spot the signs (of diabetes); ways to further becoming involved with the charity- runs, fundraisers, volunteering etc.  This will be the case for every charity.  It means that, not only does the user get to learn more about their chosen charities (and causes); other people do too.  On the site’s main page, there is an A-Z of Charities: a full list of all charities; information, links and videos for each. In addition engaging people more with charities and causes; there is a hope it will lead to more community involvement.  There is a chance to ‘represent’/choose (to support) women’s rights, stamp out gun violence, support local communities and boroughs- causes not usually represented by the big fundraisers.  In addition to giving information about each, there are ways for you to get involved: get out onto the street and make a difference.  Raising money will be a huge and important part of the idea, but it is hoped that the government will take note- issues and campaigns will be highlighted; a chance to change law- change people’s lives and initiate social change. Not only does one get to learn more about charities and causes- the main objective of the campaign- there is a secondary bonus’.  Each time you compile a list; there is a chance to benefit others.  Say you have selected Top 10 Songs.  After you have selected each track, there will be a link on each video/selection.  Song and album information is provided; links to other (similar) acts; ways to record your own music/become a musician.  In terms of new music, there is a chance to help new musicians (links to campaigns; ways to share their music and causes); find great new acts; support local venues and festivals- ways to bring about equality and change for musicians.  The same goes for film and music videos: ways to become a director/actor; local schools and campaigns; links to similar films/videos; local schemes; ways to support other charities and causes etc. All of this video-selecting and information-finding is designed to be quick to share/promote.  With a click of the button you can share you entries/profile to social media; encouraging friends to get involved- taking this thing viral.  It is A fun, quick, and educational scheme; with the potential to raise a lot of money very fast. If I was doing the ‘comedy option’, these three videos would be first up: when I was feeling very down recently they helped me hugely (and dehydrated me in the process- and all from the same T.V. show):


The idea is going to take a lot of promotion and co-operation.  When it does start out: the website is designed, everyone has said ‘yes’, there needs to be some great backing.  The idea is to get five celebrities involved from three continents- North America, Europe and Australia.  They would cover the fields of T.V., film, music and comedy.  Covering a range of ages, both genders- who have a track record of benevolence and charity work.  I am wiring to various celebrities at the moment, but it when the scheme is kicked off- it would be great to have some terrific names involved.  They would post (comedic/fun/serious) videos on YouTube: hopefully inspiring ‘undecided voters’ to become involved- and reminding everyone what they are doing this for.

Intended (main) ambassadors:

U.K.: Stephen Fry

U.S.: Olivia Wilde

Going Forward.

At the moment there is the idea and determination: without contracts being signed; sites being designed- the big guns being involved.  Of course it is not going to be as simple as it should be- ‘some’ celebrities (and huge companies) are as apathetic as they come- so will take a lot of effort and campaigning.  The point of this blog/the early stages is to gauge opinion: would people take part?  Would it interest people?  Could this work?  What are the ‘pitfalls’/’down-sides’?  For each entry people select (from the list) you have to donate a small sum yourself (rather than relying on others) but this should not put people off- it is a chance to engage and unite social media; represent all charities; try to make some genuine change.  The rest of this year- in terms of this campaign- will be to get people talking; get names involved- contact YouTube and Google- and get them saying ‘yes’.  I want to launch this within a year- it sounds a long way off but will take a lot of work.  Above all, it will rely on people getting involved: I want it to be a lot bigger than the Ice Bucket Challenge.  It is a golden opportunity to raise millions (and more) for a lot of causes; raise awareness of various issues- get people involved (on the street; in the community etc.) So that is it- those are the details.  Of course- when developments are made- some more specific details can come through- website designs; how to etc.  I have tried a few social media-related campaigns- sadly none have really taken off.  When I raised one (for Mind) a few lovely people got involved: when it came to sharing it; their friends didn’t push it forward.  Same goes (with regards one I tried for Shelter).  I have launched a Kickstarter campaign- to get new musicians together to record a cover version; to raise for charity- but it has received no donations.  Every time I launch a JustGiving page (for various half-marathons) only a few people donate.  It always leaves me really annoyed and disappointed: do people really only look out for themselves/those closest to them?  People are reticent about donating to charity- concerned they will not have enough money for themselves.  This initiative relies on a small amount from the general public (250 British pennies per entry)- the rest comes from Google.  I have contacted some celebrities (Olivia Wilde is the latest: she is in U.S.; she is one of my generation’s most impressive voices/talents- someone who is very charity conscious; has a great passion for change; hope she takes to the idea…)  I hope every (celebrity) get involved; but the public have to embrace it: there is no reason why not.  It requires no real talent or effort; it is all simple and effective; it will give you new information and incentive and above all, it is fun.  Unlike my other charity attempts, I am never going to give up on this- if it takes the rest of my.  I (like many) are sick of so many (good people) suffering; so many sectors ignores- so much needless discrimination and inequality (in a supposed developed society) – time to stop pissing about.  There are a lot of people who are motivated (to try to change things) but not as many as there should be- that needs to change too.  I am going to keep sharing and flogging this idea until I am blue in the face; until people take notice- until it is launched (and is successful).  Nobody will give me a good reason (why it would not work/flourish) so for that reason, I will not put it aside- I am sick of only a few people (I know) getting involved with worthwhile causes and events.  If you want things to get better; want to get things changes- you can’t rely on other people to take care of it.  There is a lot of hard work ahead; a great deal of protest and (getting angry): that is the price you have to pay.  I am solidifying and developing the idea: making additions/improvements by the day.  I will publish an updated blog. in May: celebrities I have contacted; development with Google; website designs; plan of action- make this blog. more comprehensive and fully-rounded. With some big days/fundraisers ahead- International Women’s Day; Comic Relief etc. – do not overlook this one…

WE all need to start getting more involved.

Contact Me:

Track Review: Hannah Robinson- Curious



Hannah Robinson






Curious is available at:

20th February, 2015





Scott McKeon & Stephen Darrell Smith (C) 2015

The E.P. Water, Carry Me is available from 13th   April.   Pre-order at:


THERE seems to be some renewed optimism in the world of music…

and especially new music.  Over the past few years, I have been fortunate enough to review some fantastic acts: many of who began quite nervously and unsure.  My words and commendations have not (necessarily aided) the rise (of the now-successful acts) yet it is pleasing to see success- great musicians starting to get their ‘dues’.  The industry is a hard and tough thing to conquer: every week, a slew of new bands and acts emerge from the cracks.  There seems to be a sense of predictability coming through (still): there is not a great deal of superseding.  Bands tend to be- in the mainstream at least- male-dominated/led; solo acts tend to get overlooked (by comparison).  New musicians are going a long way to overthrowing this eventuality; making sure there is some unpredictability and momentum building.  Having reviewed bands (for the last couple of times) it is great to come across an eager and much-anticipated sole voice: a singer/songwriter that is gaining some impressive acclaim.  This year is going to see some exciting things happen in music: big legends like Blur and The Libertines are (producing new albums); some exciting sapling artists are starting to come through- terrific new sounds and possibilities are starting to present themselves.  It is pleasing to see so many eager and ambitious musicians come through: with such a jam-packed scene, you wonder how many will ‘succeed’.  It is not good enough to merely arrive with guitar in hand: a songbook to your chest; armed with ‘good intentions’.  Those artists that stick in the mind are the ones that (go beyond what is expected): add personality, surprise and originality to their music.  My featured artist knows this all too well: she is not a performer contented to put in the bare minimum; she is hard-working and endlessly plugs; her voice is distinct and memorable- her songs filled with wonderful insight and stories.  Before I conclude this section/my point, I will introduce (Hannah Robinson) to you:

Singer-songwriter Hannah Robinson’s blues-tinged vocals belies her age.

Performing as a soloist and with her band, in London as well as in her native Dorset, her busy live schedule sees her playing venues such as The Bedford and Salisbury Arts Centre, and festivals including Larmer Tree Festival and Purbeck Folk Festival.

2015 will see the release of ‘Water, Carry Me’, a brand new four track EP of original material, following her 2012 debut album ‘Oil and Turpentine’. In this, Hannah is working alongside musicians including Scott McKeon (Lana Del Ray, Tom Jones), Paul Beavis (Robert Fripp, Robbie McIntosh), Rob Mullarkey (Laura Mvula, Jamie Cullum) and Steve Smith (Sandi Thom, Robbie McIntosh), developing her sound.

Hannah’s songs blend her nonchalant, percussive guitar style with soulful melodies and lyrics full of personal experience and rich imagery owed to her art school education.”

With the likes of Sam Smith and Rae Morris- putting the solo realm firmly into the public consciousness- it is one of the most in-demand and in-vogue sectors of music: the band-led hegemony is in danger of being overthrown.  For that reason, many young (sole) acts are coming through- all keen to win votes and linger in the memory.   Robinson is an artist that strikes my ear immediately.  Having reviewed (female solo acts) Little Sparrow, Jen Armstrong and Annie Drury, she ranks alongside them- armed with as much personality and potential (as that glorious trio).  I prefer my music heavier (the likes of Soundgarden, Green Day and Pixies feature in my record collection) and my configurations four or five-piece.  I have always wanted to fully embrace solo artists, yet seem to be seduced by the band concept- that ageless and overwhelming sound that does something primal and wonderful.  Acts like Hannah Robinson go a long way to changing my views; giving me something fresh and much-needed- a mellifluous and sensual breeze.  This country- in my biased and subjective view- is producing the best music in the world: our solo singers (in particular) are the most agile and effective of them all.  Robinson is taking her very first steps, yet the (initial signs) are very encouraging: her online portfolio and social media numbers are rising; her fan-base augmenting and swelling- this year is going to be (a very prosperous one) for her.

Before I get around to reviewing her music (and the featured song), it is worth looking back at Robinson’s (previous work): seeing just how far she has come.  Over the last few months- leading up to the release of her new E.P. – Robinson has crafted some (original and unexpected) cover versions- adding colour and new spins on old gems.  If you listen to (her take on) the likes of Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright and Make You Feel My Love (both available on her SoundCloud page), then you can hear what I mean: such vitality and energy is injected into both numbers.  A lot of new artists- when they cover other artists/songs- tend to offer little variation and surprise.  Robinson does not tackle a song, unless she feels she can make it sound new- do something unexpected and different.  I hope that- in addition to her new material- she continues tackling well-loved songs: giving her own inimitable take on them.  A few years ago- back in December 2012- Robinson released her (debut album) Oil and Turpentine.  That L.P. was the introduction of the young star: her first (fully-fledged) movements into the musical world.  That album mixes lo-fi grit with Blues-tinged prowess: the entire album has a great live feel to it.  Opening track Monster swings and sways: tinges of Amy Winehouse linger in (the most sensuous and impassioned) notes.  Songbirds in the Afternoon possesses glorious woozy brass; plenty of emotion and personal insight- the young singer pours her heart out.  Stay Quiet has more of an acoustic heart: it is a track that takes your mind somewhere special; its grace and gentility overcome the senses.  The album is a testament to Robinson’s talent and determination: there are no loose edges and gaping cracks.  The entire collection sounds natural and effortless: there are no nerves or need for improvement.  Although there are signs of Amy Winehouse (and some classic Blues voices) within the music, the abiding take-away is originality: it is the young woman stamping her distinct personality.  Songs crackle with vivid imagery and charming scenes; the vocals are compelling and gorgeous- the compositions are rich and nuanced.

If you a newcomer to Robinson, then you may be looking (towards her inspirations).  On Facebook, Robinson lists her idols/influences as: Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, P.J. Harvey, Jeff Buckley, Dan Auerbach, John Frusciante, St. Vincent.  Quite a list there!  To be fair, there is a little (of each) within her glorious notes.  That soulfulness of Franklin comes through (in her most astute and potent moments); St. Vincent’s etherealness and spellbinfing allure (has made its impact) and can be detected during Robinson’s softer times- Buckley’s grace and emotion make their way (into Robinson’s artistry).  Just like all promising music acts, our heroine merely uses her idols as a jumping-off point: she does not lazily replicate their voices and sounds.  Too many modern-day acts lazily toss-off a second-rate version of events- come across as bad tribute acts.  When you want to grip imagination, and ensure long-term appeal, you need to be fresh and distinct- this is what Robinson does.  Whether you look for ice-cool beauty and stillness; red-hot power and lust; some comforting warmer colours- you should look no further.  With a voice filled with potential and range, Robinson is capable of owning any territory she likes- and this means her songwriting can be a lot nimbler and less confined.

The opening (plaintive and romantic strums) of Curious put me in mind of Jeff Buckley: specifically, his album Live at Sin-e.  That album was recorded in New York (the Lower East Side) in a small café: and is one of my favourite things in music.  Tearing through the likes of The Way Young Lovers Do and If You See Her, Say Hello; that distinct guitar sounds comes out- that relaxes the bones and kisses the blood.  Curious peaks my interest (within 10 seconds) as it puts me in mind of my music idol- and the way he could captivate crowds were the mere fleck of his guitar.  Our heroine’s mind- from the get-go- looks towards overcoming mountains; climbing peaks- and overcoming obstacles.  One assumes these words are not to be interpreted literally: she has emotional and personal issues to overcome; determined to side-step and defeat anything in her way.  Not allowing her voice to play second-fiddle, her strong and vibrant tones are right up top- seamlessly mixed into the fold to provide the most evocative emotional punch.  Robinson’s curious travelogue talks the listener (away with her): her breezy alacrity is infectious and hugely additive.  Reminding me of the Folk greats of the ‘60s and ‘70s, Robinson mixes vintage-cum-classic: injecting plenty of modern sounds and relevance into the track.  Having covered Bob Dylan, our heroine clearly adores the Old Master: shades of his 1963 regency (The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan) come through clearly.  In the same way (as the young) Dylan took you into a very personal and relatable style of music; Robinson showcases a clear talent for storytelling and description: her voice helps to highlight the clarity and detail in her lyrics.  Asking her (unnamed lover) whether he will climb with her- come up that mountain- I started to re-evaluate my (earlier assumptions).  The ambiguity that comes out- two lovers climbing a literal mountain?  A duo sweetheart looking to subsume a difficult situation? – makes me think and assess.  Our heroine looks out at the ocean (“that I’m curious to sail”): her sense of determination is unwavering and deterministic.  Where the waves crash- and the “seabirds wail”- Robinson locks her sights: she knows where she wants to be (and who she wants to be there with).  Whether she is assessing a current romance- or looking into fictional realms- each words drip with conviction and honeyed romance- it is hard to not be teased and shivered by that striking voice.  Allowing her guitar to flesh out and emphasise the mood (and not encroach too strongly) the foreground is dedicated to the voice-and-lyrics combination- there is a U.S. flavor to proceedings.  Like the great Country and Folk acts emanating from the U.S.A., Robinson has a little bit of Nashville in her blood- a distinct twang that comes through in some of the words.  Effortlessly- and naturally- bridging American quirk with British recalcitrance, the young Siren (brings her music idols) into her own work.  Curious is a borderless and indiscriminate song: it is ready for the U.S. markets, as it is the airwaves of Absolute Radio.  Whereas George Ezra set the music world alight (last year) with Wanted on Voyage; Robinson provides a female counterpart.  That album contained songs that took you across seas and countries- Budapest, Barcelona, Cassy O’ even) – Robinson has contours of Ezra.  As much as I adore Ezra’s voice (few have those pipes!) and his style; Robinson is her own woman- it is hard to compare her with too many other songwriters.  The contemporary elements (within Curious) will set her in good stead: and translate to multiple listeners and great approval.  As the song reaches the half-way mark, Robinson is clutching her “ticket to the world”- and rolling onwards.  Rolling the dice, our heroine takes a gamble on the world- she is curious to see the world; get out and enjoy the sights.  Riding a crest of rhythmic lust and pace, the song never loses momentum: subtle shifts and about-turns keep the song unpredictable and mobile.  The track has a terrific live feel to it- as though we are sitting alongside Robinson in a pub or café- yet the sound is full and uncompromising.  The entire ‘band’ performance is tight and impressive: each instrument and note seems well-rehearsed yet loose- that juxtaposition of refined and relaxed adds huge clout to the song.  The most impressive facet (of Curious) is Robinson’s nobleness and humility: she wants to share her curiosity (with her love); not simply set off on her own.  Gripped by the will-they-won-they tug-of-war, the listener is left hanging a little- our heroine keeps everyone guessing for a while.  For an artist so young, there is- towards the two-thirds mark- some sage and learned guidance: issues about mortality and seizing the moment are explored.  It is said- by our heroine- whether you take a gamble in life (and just go for it) or wait for death to shove its hands down your underwear- the end is waiting for us.  In a few words: why wait for the inevitable without making the most out of life (that’s the impression I get at least).  Made bold by the promise of sea, sand (and foreign lands), Robinson seems bright-eyed and eager: she does not want to be hidden away and inside.  Curious lives up to its title: the listener has a cliff-hanger left (at the end).  Our young star has unveiled a tantilising insight- into her upcoming E.P. – and shows just how strong she is- here is a song that is simple yet hugely effective.  In a marketplace with a lot of young artists coming through- it is hard to distinguish oneself from the throng.  With new music providing multitudes of female and male solo acts, how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?  I guess going to see live music (is a good start) and social media/music-streaming sites can be a minefield of webs and knots.  A lot of success (for new musicians) comes when (people and critics) are in the ‘right place at the right time’- a zero-hour approach to success and stardom.  Robinson provides plenty of prowess and personality; bags of quality and strength- I hope she has a (fairly easy) rise to prominence.  Whether it is a few years away- or maybe a little longer- that recognition and accolade will arrive: there is no doubt about that at all.  For all the cold night and dull days, Curious arrives just about the right time- her E.P. will be an early taste of summer (to make even the most anhedonic crack a wide beam).

Hopefully I have gone some way to assessing (fairly) Robinon’s potential and panache- if not, I duly apologise.  Being laden with cold germs and worries, her music has provided me some solace and medicinal support- I have discovered a new artist (I will stick with for many years).  As I stated (near the top of this review) I have always been a band man.  My favourite song is by a band (Steely Dan- technically a duo I guess), my favourite album by a band (Radiohead); my all-time favourite band is, well… a band.  In terms of voices, Chris Cornell and Thom Yorke are in my top-three- the lone warrior rarely features in my ‘all-time best’ lists.  Robinson’s timeless beauty and intuition marks her out as a talent to watch: her songwriting and voice are strong enough to ensure she remains (in the public mindset) for years to come.  With the likes of Laura Marling and James Bay offering something very distinct- the market is filled with lesser talent- the public is always on the look-out for something fresh and exciting.  I adore my bands- and heavier movements- but always look for something gentler and inspirational- especially as we come into spring.  Being in a position to (embark upon my own musical path), I am always looking about for contemporary influence: those acts that can help me with my own songs.  Robinson seems a humble and modest artist: something with no airs and graces; a great respect for her fellow musician.  This modest approach to music-making reflects through strongly.  Curious is a step forward for the young artist: she is at her most confident and assured here.  Whereas her debut album was packed with jewels and glistening tracks- I feel she has grown even larger and prominent.  Cementing that early promise, Robinson (already) seems relaxed and assured- she knows exactly what her voice is; exactly who she wants to be.  This assuredness does not equate to complacency: the young beauty has plenty of ammunition in her arsenal; a surfeit of new maneuvers and territory.  I cannot wait to discover Water, Carry Me: it is going to get a lot of (dormant) tongues wagging.  Having familisarised myself (with her fledgling work), I am deeply impressed by her progress: for one so young, Robinson shows great maturity and confidence.  Before I conclude, I want to raise a key point: this year in music.  With The Libertines promising a new album- if Doherty can keep his veins clean; if Barat can trust his brother-in-arms- and Blur promoting their Magic Whip like a bitch: I really hope it is a lot stronger than Think Tank!  It seems like the mainstream is going to get a lot of credit.  After a somewhat unimpressive 2014- Royal Blood seemed like the only real exciting new act coming through- this year is showing a lot greater promise.  Too many people concentrate wholly on the charts: the radio darlings and the ‘popular’ choices.  The most invigorating and wonderful musicians are plating underground: playing the local venues; rocking-out to a small selection of followers.  Whilst it is impossible to promote ALL of the great musicians coming through; one should pay attention to acts like Robinson- she will be a festival headliner in little-no time (make sure you get involved now).  The sun is shining; the cascading cold germs are starting to relent (slightly) – I do not have to work until Monday.  To top it all off, I have come across a musician that has made me smile: surprised me (in a good way) and is stuck inside my head.  If you are like me- and yearn to seek great solo music- or demand something special (in your music) then check out this young artist.  If it comes down to a gun-to-your-head-decision: wait to see if the mainstream can take your breath away (without looking too hard) or stick with new music (and have to ferret to discover serendipity) then (because of the likes of Robinson), there is no doubt in my mind…

THAT will be a very easy choice.



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