Gaz Brookfield

One day, I was scrolling through my ever-growing and wildly out of control music library, and I happened to stumble across five or so tracks by a chap called Gaz Brookfield. I can’t remember how they got there, and to be honest I don’t much care because, after thirty seconds or so of listening to Gaz’s dulcet tones and delicate chords, I was completely and utterly hooked and I listened to his track “Hell Or High Water” all day, every day for a fortnight straight.

Gaz Brookfield is a folk singer-songwriter based in Bristol who sings about love, life, music and home. His lyrics are at the same time deeply personal and instantly relatable, speaking straight to everyone who’s ever had to work hard, fallen in love or thought that Simon Cowell and his bloody X Factor are collectively ruining the music industry (check out “Diet Of Banality” for full details on this latter point). An acoustic artist, he’s reminiscent of Frank Turner via Newton Faulkner with a dash of Jim Lockey on the side (a combo that’s well up my street, let me tell you), and he’s possessed with a passion and an honesty that makes his music incredibly appealing to anyone who appreciates their listening material with a little meaning behind it.

Since he began his solo career in 2006, Gaz has played over 700 shows and has two studio albums, 2011’s ‘Trial and Error’ and this year’s ‘Tell It To The Beer’, both of which are excellent and fully worth checking out. In 2010, he won acoustic magazine Beautiful Days singer-songwriter competition and on 21st December 2011 he became the first unsigned artist ever to sell out Bristol’s The Fleece. Safe to say, then, that he’s pretty damn good.

If you’d like to find out more about Gaz Brookfield’s music, visit his website.

– Georgie

Introducing The Portlands

I headed home this week to meet up with The Portlands, a folk rock band from Leigh, Lancashire. The quintuplets successes since forming in 2009 have taken them all the way to America, and later this month will see them begin a European tour which is being extended by the day.

With two EPs under their belts and countless live gigs and festival performances, their experience and skill equate to a rich and mature sound that is both warm and intense.  Their strong, guitar based style switches fluently from melodic finger picking to heavy get up and dance strumming, combined in such a way that makes their live performances something to behold.

You needn’t take my word for it however, fortunately I had my camera with me…

Marthas & Arthurs

Formed around a campfire in Hertfordshire back in 2008, Marthas & Arthurs are a folksy four-piece comprising of Matt Hart, Mary Douglas and brother and Sister Tom and Esther Ball. Sounding a little bit like early Belle & Sebastian and a little more like the Mamas & the Papas, their quirky retro sound and sweet-yet-shrewd lyrics have been winning over the music press for a good while now, with Q Magazine describing them as ‘swooning and sumptuous’ and the great Jarvis Cockers dubbing them ‘rather brilliant’.

Their musical tone is one of quiet understated-ness, unassuming and melodic, with superbly gentle and perfectly harmonised vocals. Their songs are playful and have a joyous quality, whilst simultaneously managing to be thought provoking and, in places, ever so slightly tinged with melancholy.

After making an EP or two available to download online, Marthas & Arthurs finally brought out their debut album “The Hit World of… Marthas & Arthurs” in April of this year. The final production stages were completed thanks to generous donations from fans, who managed to raise the £2000 required for the mixing and mastering of the record. Full of the band’s delightful (and fast-becoming trademark) tranquil-come-mischievousness, it was a long time coming for their growing fan-base (which numbers among it 6Music’s Lauren Laverne) and thoroughly worth the £6 price tag. Check it out for yourself via their band camp.

– Georgie

Rising Musician: Ed Tullett

There’s something about that time of year where the end of summer is coming, it starts getting cooler outside and all you want to do is snuggle up in your comfiest jumper with a cuppa and some good tunes. I can assure you that this musician is definitely the best choice for that.

Ed Tullett is an 18-year-old musician hailing from Uckfield, East Sussex, who, at 14, after deciding to pick up a guitar and record some sounds, knew that this was what his life was going to be about. Completely inspired by the likes of Brand New and Manchester Orchestra to Sufjan Stevens, Justin Vernon, and Radiohead – Tullett strove to make music that inspired and compelled him as much as his idols. After recently releasing his newest EP under Equal Vision Records, I’m sure it’s easy to see that he’s doing just that.

Now, there are very few artists out there that I know of that I am able to listen to and become transported to a different realm and mindset with so easily..Especially living in London, where everyone and everything around me is in constant motion and uproar. But in just listening to Tullett’s music and in reading his poetic lyrics, I am completely compelled. His music freezes time and overwhelms me with his thoughtful, intense poetry. You can’t beat that.

Following his November 2011 release of his ‘Never Joy’ EP, Tullett is back on the scene with his newest 7″ EP, ‘Split’. The two-song record brings about a folk-lore indie sound, with Bon Iver-esque vocals and calming soft guitars and beat-y undertones. Despite having similar vocals to Bon Iver, however, he has that edge in his voice that Iver sometimes seems to be missing. ‘Eventual Body’ is a roll-over from the ‘Never Joy’ EP, with haunting vocals and calming, spring-y guitar chords.

The EP, along with his previous ‘Never Joy’ EP, are both available for download off of Bandcamp here. If you want to keep up to date on this newcomer, check out his Facebook, Tumblr (for random spurts of his amazing poetry), or YouTube for more updates. He’s heading up the ladder fast, so keep your eyes peeled for whatever he’s got next!

 

– Killian

Photo Courtesy of ©Benjamin Haywood