About Jacob Kordan

Hi there my name is Jacob Kordan, I am 23 years of age and from Birmingham. Through my music and lifestyle I aspire to exude originality, confidence and diversity. In my view these attributes constitute what it truly means to be 'Born in Britain'.

Fuse ODG

Hailing from Mitcham in London, Nana Richard Abiona AKA Fuse ODG, has become the leading British exponent of Afrobeats, allowing his Ghanaian descent to firmly influence his musical output. The UK urban music scene has recently seen the popularity of Afrobeats explode, with mainstream pop music increasingly influenced by the West African origins of this musical origin. Fuse ODG is at the forefront of this breakthrough, staying true to the Auto Tuned , synth glossed rhythms that have become the genre’s watermark. Born Richard Abiona, the Londoner describes his style as “life-changing music seasoned with African roots”. Fuse’s aim is to elevate the world through music and earlier last year he made history by becoming the first UK act to be nominated for a Ghana Music Award. As well as being a versatile artist and producer, Fuse works with young people helping them to explore their own artistic abilities. He also works with ex-offenders and runs a group called Escape that aims to help young people in the UK and abroad achieve their potential.

Clappy snares and tight hi hats drive Fuse’s music as heard in his track Azonto featuring Tiffany. An incessant rhythm and bass drives the track forward allowing for catchy party tunes that represent themselves well on the dance floor. Vocal harmonies play throughout this and many of Fuse’s other tracks to create a distinctive sound and melodic progression, made infamous by the likes of Wyclef Jean and Akon. However, not all of ODG’s music plays in the stereotypical hands of Afrobeats music. His track The Women (A Man’s Nightmare) is more UK Hip Hop than Afrobeats. Here we see an ability to not always needing to rely on the gloss of Autoned vocals and instead preferring to tell/rap a dialogue, harking back to the likes of Mike Skinner from The Streets. With a new EP coming out this June and a You Tube channel that is expanding as quickly as his credentials as an Afrobeats producing powerhouse, Fuse ODG is slowly etching his name on the urban UK scene in a major way.

Story Books

Having supported the likes of  Bloc Party, American sensations Grouplove, and supporting the Rolling Stones this July Story Books, a five piece band from Kent, are quickly creating a name for themselves as a formidable force in the UK indie band battle for recognition. Combining the use of traditional instruments (guitar, bass, drums, piano and voice) Story Books maintain a traditional sound whilst exploring the hybrid genre of melancholy ballad fused with that undeniable indie party vibe. Utilising dynamics and sounds from the post-rock landscape, and melding them with studious, warm vocals and fuzzy overdriven guitar, Story Books have hit a winning formula right, and have resultantly won love from BBC 6Music and beyond. Too Much a Hunter, their debut EP, displays a maturity that would fit any later bands output. Self produced at Squarehead Studio in Sittingbourne and mixed by Tony Doogan, this four track EP follows the success of a limited vinyl release last year.  

All Those Arrows, their debut single from the EP, manages to play a fine line between the melancholy and party vibe as already mentioned. Mixing up a catchy chorus with a underlay of downhearted guitar riffs and pounding drums Story Books create something of a musical conundrum. This song is perfect in equal measure for blasting out in a drink soaked floor on a Friday night or for listening to on a rainy day whilst tending to your hangover the morning after. Simple Kids another highlight of the EP remains more in the traditional indie style of  prominent live drums and uplifting melodies. That alternative, saddened groove interweaves itself still throughout, however this really is a song you can sing along to and feel good doing so.  We see in this song, as in the rest of the EP, the piano playing an essential role in adding harmony and bulking up the sound of Story BooksThe reliance on chord progressions, effective hooks and traditional percussion strays away from the electro indie sound that has swept over our ears in current years. Kristopher Harris effectively uses his strong voice and spiky lyrics to wash away any need for frills an d spills in the form of synth sound exploration and splashes of vocal fx.

All in all, if you like your indie raw, expressive and straight to the point… then Story Books may just be your ticket.

London Grammar

A three piece band, hailing from London (clue is in the name of the act…) London Grammar epitomise the successive rise of bands before them, garnering exposure through social media and extensive plays via Sound Cloud and YouTube. However, any sense of similarity with other musical acts stop there. Hannah Reid, Dot Major and Dan Rothman make up this innovative musical act, who formed the band whilst studying at university. After being locked up in a studio for the majority of 2012 working on their debut album, they finally released their debut song ‘Hey Now’ on Soundcloud, which has received over 300 000 plays to date.

After two further releases it is safe to say that London Grammar elude all conventions in their music, successfully fusing a multitude of genres including trip-hop, electronica and  indie, to create an original and soulful soundscape. Their tracks bumble along like giant, gentle digital rhythms. Searing over the top of these rhythms we get Hannah Reid’s soulful, but essentially folk like, voice holding the songs together like vocal glue. London Grammar’s ability to tinker on the edge of music to ‘listen’ to and music to ‘dance’ to, has maintained their own space within the musical world and allowed them to carve out sonic originality.

A recent track called Metal and Dust ,exemplifies the mix of raw vocals and haunting electronica they have become so well known for. This particular song is a masterclass in up tempo – ‘chill out’ music, holding it’s own against other similar genre heavyweights such as Royskopp or Lemon Jelly. The track has been compared to the likes of Massive Attack’s tour de force Unfinished Sympathy. With it’s epic sound and floorless production, the song concerns itself with such heavy topics such as the crumbling of life built on trust, allowing the musicality in it to express this somber subject matter. However, despite such themes the music pings along, almost disguising the anguish shown through the lyrics.

London Grammar are rightfully being touted as one of the major acts to look out for over the course of 2013. Be sure to check out their music and if you like what you hear (which I can assure you will) then you can catch them at Islington Assembly Hall, London on Wed. 15th May 2013.

Colour The Atlas

What do you get when you mix a clash of cinematic folk, chilled trip beats and swaths of sensuous with late night atmospherics… you get Swindon sensations, Colour The Atlas. Emotionally rich, musically economical and wonderfully balanced this British four piece (Jess Hall :vocals, keyboards, Alex Stone: guitar, vocals, Andy Vincent: bass, Stef Pysanczyn :drums) have been garnering praise and publicity from the likes of ‘BBC Introducing’ with Fearne Cotton a keen supporter and fan of the group.

The band have stated they are influenced by the likes Fleet Foxes, Bon Iver and Iron & Wine, however they sound more English than these, with more of a UK than US folk influence. Combine this use of electronics we see many of the overt folk traces covered with in computer sheen. Their recent self-titled debut EP is an accomplished piece of work in its own right, and it’s Hall’s understated but distinctive and functional voice that immediately stands out and impresses. Furthermore, without the commercial polish that often eradicates records of their personality and place of concept (Hall writes and produces the tracks from her garage) we get a more gritty down to Earth record that really is all about capturing the essence of the music and allowing for Halls voice to not be over swamped by needless high end production tricks.

We hear with the leading track of the EP , Snow, the incorporation of a Trip Hop inspired beat, direct influence form their neighbouring town of Bristol. Another track on the EP named Satellites we receive a slower song with sampled hiss and strings providing effective musical background and soundscape for Hall’s soulful voice to sing over. Another highlight of a highly impressive musical debut.

Check out Colour The Atlas at the following venues:

Nov 27 King Tuts Wah Wah Hut Glasgow, United Kingdom
Nov 28 Oporto Leeds, United Kingdom
Nov 30 Trof, Fallowfiel, Manchester, United Kingdom

Wild Swim

Shifting textures and immersive soundscapes, a swarm of expansive guitars, haunting vocals and delicate keys… this is the sound of the latest release ‘Echo’ by Wild Swim, one of Oxford’s and the UK’s hottest upcoming acts. Out on Believe Recordings on Monday 26th November, and produced by the renowned Steve Osborne (New Order, Suede), it’s a fitting introduction to this five-piece band who have already drawn musical comparison to the likes of Tears For Fears and fellow Oxfordians Foals.

Still in their late teens, Wild Swim met at school in their hometown of Oxford forming at the age of just 13. Flick forward in time and the boys remain good friends which exudes in their great live performances and gigs which have garnered high praise from critics and fans alike. Still only teenagers –and comprising four undergraduates plus one trainee Saville Row tailor, these boys nevertheless have a musical maturity beyond their years and a great command of their instruments and musical direction. Their latest single ‘Echo’ is considered by many, and also in my view, their strongest and most potent song to date. The song brings out the best of Richard Sansom’s remarkable, idiosyncratic baritone and includes a great mid song transformation shimmery pop to an almost post-psychedelic musical texture. The B-side is a melancholic, self-produced song ‘Bright Eyes’ , which on its own is a great track. With its experimental electronica influences calling to mind the likes of James Blake and Arthur Russell.

Riding high on their new single and a string of gigs, Wild Swim are definitely are one of the bands to look out for on the 2013 musical scene.

You can catch Wild Swim at the following dates:

18th October – SWN festival @ (sup Django Django and Egyptian Hip Hop)
20th October – Oxford Gathering @ O2 Academy Oxford (supporting Spector)
26th October – headline show @ Leeds Cockpit
30th October – headline show @ The Buffalo Bar, London

Laura J Martin

Liverpool’s Laura J Martin is of one the hottest properties on the upcoming music market. A singer/songwriter who has developed a completely unique and innovative sound incorporating a range of instruments such as lute, mandolin, keyboards and xylophone and not forgetting her preferred instrument the flute.

Her debut album, The Hangman Tree, which came out earlier this year was made on such a tight budget that she had use various household items to create her music. Laura J Martin mentions: “I had to make use of what was around me, which meant using kitchen pans, sugar bowls and cheese graters.” It is Laura’s skill of turning these unusual instrumental into quirky, catchy pop tunes that is garnering such praise and notice. By incorporating the use of unorthodox arrangement and sounds but maintain music that is both catchy and upbeat Laura created something of a little master class in progressive folk/pop music in her debut album. Not to mention a display of her great talent as a flautist.

A heavy summer tour and appearances on Marc Riley’s BBC 6 Music radio show as well as Cerys Matthews and Rob Da Bank’s BBC Radio shows, Laura is steadily building a firm musical following. Although often placed in the folk/pop category Laura’s music also contains Hip Hop elements harking back to her days as flute player for hip-hop producer Kidkanevil. Among her influences, she also mentions pioneering individuals David Bowie, Serge Gainsbourg and Neil Young. Laura states: “I’m inspired by people who have a passion for music. Also my granddad who, in my eyes, was a fantastic piano player”. She is also known to cite books, family, friends and people on the edge of society as key influences for her lyrical writing.

Laura J Martin is currently working on her second album, hoping to take her music onto the global stage with a view to crack Europe as well as Japan where she lived previously for a year.

TOY

You would be wise to think that the psychedelic pop music days were a thing of the past … however,  a new emerging British band is bringing it back, and it bringing it into the 21st century. TOY, a London based band are fast emerging as one of the lookout acts of 2012 and 2013. With their synth-heavy mix of psychedelia, post-punk and blisspop TOY take inspirations from the past and propel them into the musical future.

Tom Dougall (vocals, guitar), Dominic O’Dair (guitars), Maxim Barron (bass, vocals), Alejandra Diez (synths, modulations) and Charlie Salvidge (drums, vocals) make up the band and between them look more like a krautrock band from 1972 than a band from modern London. However, it is with this imagery that the band gets away with its retro sounds and grooves.

Their third and latest single, Lose My Way (see link to left of this blog), released Sept 2012 continues in the vein of their other works. Driving guitars, rich vocals covered in reverb and retro sounding synth lines all add up to music that is equally listenable and danceable. The chorus particularly stands out with an interestingly solemn but upbeat melody (you will know what I mean if you listen to it). The song builds up to a climactic build and then slowly slips away to a gratifying conclusion.

Picked as one of NME’s “100 New Bands You Have to Hear” in January 2012 and with a busy UK and international tour to finish the year off, TOY are building on critical claim and an ever growing fan base. A great upcoming British band, this is one to definitely watch out for in 1972… I mean 2013.

UK Tour

Date                           Venue

Fri 19 Oct                Sheffied, Plug
Sat 20 Oct                Birmingham, HMV Temple
Tues 23 Oct             Norwich, Waterfront Studio
Wed 24 Oct              London, Heaven
Thurs 25Oct            Southampton, Talking Heads
Sat 27 Oct                Brighton, Green Door Store
Sun 28 Oct               Manchester, Ruby Lounge
Mon 29 Oct             Newcastle, Cluny
Tues 30 Oct            Glasgow, Sleazy’s

 

AlunaGeorge

Clips, claps, blips, and earth shaking bass… this is the sound of AlunaGeorge, whose fusion of Pop, R&B, Hip-Hop and Electronica is making them one of the most upcoming and anticipated British music acts around.

Hailing from London, Aluna Francis and George Reid had been in various ‘experimental’ bands before joining forces to craft their distinct melodic, electronic beats and motifs. Accolades from The Guardian and championed by DJ Annie Mac, AlunaGeorge are riding on a wave of critical success. With their new EP ‘The Know You Like It’, AlunaGeorge continue with their genre defying music.

Aluna’s soulful, sweet voice dropped in with George’s precise, well-defined production style is as catchy and brilliant as ever. Their lead single, self titled ‘The Know You Like It’ (check out the YouTube link left to this blog) incorporates a funky and unusual mix of drum machine 90’s inspired beats, plonky synths and harmonious vocals. Ever on the musical walking rope between melodious and discordant, we see the experimental background of this group in full show with this song as well as Aluna’s virtuosic vocals in all their glory. The song flows soulfully and George’s eclectic drums and percussion drives the music alongside his quirky synth sounds.

Other works, past and present, by AlunaGeorge are in the same vein, experimental but listenable. One can hear musical influences ranging from Burial and Deadmau5 to Timbaland and Massive Attack. However, it is with Massive Attack that this duo bares the biggest similarity. Not in their actual musicality, but in the progressive nature of what they are trying to achieve. Like Massive Attack spearheading Trip-Hop as new musical genre, we see AlunaGeorge carving out a new sound, one that takes elements from across the musical plain, and mixing them up to the drop of heavy beats and electro inspired bass lines.

So if you like your music progressive, or you like your music that has a great melody, or like your music with great beats… in fact if you like music period, take a listen to this British musical duo, they will not disappoint!

(Check the free downloadable songs on their website; I have included the link below)

Tour Dates

Nov 01     Pitchfork Music Festival,Paris
Nov 15     Hare and Hounds, Birmingham
Nov 16     Nice N Sleazy, Glasgow
Nov 17    Stealth vs Rescued,Nottingham
Nov 18    Start The Bus, Bristol
Nov 20    Nation of Shopkeepers, Leeds
Nov 21    The Deaf Institute, Manchester
Nov 22    Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, London
Nov 24    Coalition, Brighton

Maybeshewill

Maybeshewill are a post rock band based in Leicestershire, UK. Through constant touring and their albums receiving widespread critical acclaim across the board, including Kerrang (4/5), RockSound (8/10), Big Cheese (4/5), NME (7/10) and Artrocker (4/5), this Midlands band has garnered a sizable and loyal following.

Known for their melodic progression, guitar licked tunes and use of electronic elements alongside their acoustic instrumentation this band is clear and defiant in its musical route. In addition, have been compared with such electronic/ acoustic outfits such as Icelandic band Sigur Ros and 65daysofstatic thought to have a considerable influence on their music.

The band is an antithesis to the mainstream music that dominates our ears, with their mission to be as self sufficient as possible with regards to the release, production and creative direction of their music. They are known for releasing their records with independent British record labels as well as managing themselves. With a new LP coming out they have release lead single ‘Red Paper Lanterns’ as a teaser to what to expect. (Link to this track included as a YouTube video with this blog).

This full instrumental number builds up to a melodic peak with an array of musical timbres from synthesisers to glockenspiels and piano. The lack of vocals with this band is a standout feature, instead preferring to let instrumentation to lead the way with regards to expressed emotion and thought. Distorted samples, blippy beats, progressive synths mixed with a live raw acoustic feel… this underground British band is one to definitely give a listen to!

If you are keen to catch this emerging and original band then they have a host of gigs lined up in November!!! (See below)

Maybeshewill Tour Dates:

Thurs 1st Nov: Maybshewill & Gallops – RockCity, Nottingham
Fri 2nd Nov: Maybeshewill + Minion TV + Kusangi – Mello Mello, Liverpool
Mon 5th Nov: Maybeshewill – The Tunnels, Aberdeen
Tues 6th Nov: Maybeshewill – O2 ABC Glasgow (ABC 1 & ABC 2), Glasgow
Wed 7th Nov: Maybeshewill – Trillians Rock Bar, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Thu 8th Nov: Maybeshewill – The Exchange,Bristol

Bobby Tank: One Man Post-Dubstep Movement

Since the breakaway success and mainstream acceptance of Dubstep music, our ears have been inundated with the genre’s tunes and artists. The crackling snare and wobble bass line have become commonplace and a familiar noise to our ears.

It’s origins as an underground, innovative and fresh music scene has been diminished due to it’s immense and mainstream success. This is where the likes of super producer Bobby Tank comes in! Hailing from London and signed to independent British record label MofoHifi Records, Bobby Tank takes the Dubstep template and with the help of huge synths, glitchy drums and forward thinking production manipulates it into his own. With grooving 80’s funk mixed with a heavy bass, this post- Dubstep artist truly makes genre defying music.

Instantly danceable and equally listenable, Bobby Tank is fast rising start in the electronic music scene having received accolades from such journal bodies as the Guardian, and Rolling Stone.com and further praise from Zane Lowe (BBC Radio 1).

With major influences from the likes of Prince and Michael Jackson, Bobby Tank fuses modern dance in all it’s sub bass glory with the melodic and rhythmic complexity of 80’s best pop music. It is with this influence that Bobby Tank looks back to the 80’s, taking the best of its musical output, incorporating the great aspects of dub step, and moving forward into a new musical direction.

Bobby Tank truly is a one-man post -Dubstep movement. Check him out via his website, Facebook page and on Soundcloud. I will tag these links in with this post. With a host of original tracks, as well as remixes, this is one artist you don’t want to miss!

Peace: Brum’s Answer to Indy

After a friend of mine had mentioned a band named ‘Peace’ that hail from Birmingham to me the other week I decided that I would have a gander. My ipod selection was starting to get stale and I was in the need for some fresh tunes. I eventually found their website and youtube channel… and it would be fair to I was not disappointed!

With Peace we have another top notch indie band to go along recent successes such as The Twang and Editors. The live raw production on the songs is a clear move away from the much more clean and highly polished music that tends to dominate the charts at the moment. It is with this raw sound that Peace maintain a party and low key atmosphere. Watch this space!

PS. Check out the review on Peace : 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2012/jan/16/new-band-peace