Gabby Colledge

Who said acoustic music was dead? The era may be over, but its echo continues to reverberate and inspire the young, up and coming musicians of today. Despite the vast advances of music technology, most aspiring singers still cling to the jazzy sounds of an acoustic guitar and the steel strings beneath their callused fingers. It’s what we grew up with, what we all instinctively know. And it’s this sense of deeply rooted nostalgia that London-based, singer-songwriter Gabby Colledge teases out from between the eaves of your ears.

Colledge’s soulful voice rises and sinks like a wave, like satin with grain. It could have traveled here from another time, an eclectic, golden period of folk and jazz. Of her inspirations, Gabby muses:

“I generally love all acoustic music, especially stripped down versions of dance songs, and the YouTube channel Watch Listen Tell. I grew up loving classic soul singers such as Etta James and also more folk-based music like Laura Marling.

At the moment I’m listening to more chilled out, almost electronic music, such as London Grammar.”

Forever in a dream / about the texture of your skin / safety in your arms / I’m free from harm.

Thus far, Colledge has composed three songs on her soundcloud, Waiting for me, Anybody could be fooled and Done with you. There’s something particularly enchanting about the second song, with a lilting melody and lyrics that make you sigh with the beauty of it all – a feeling or memory you’ve forgotten in the corner of your mind — in the haze of your eyes / anyone could be fooled — and leaves you wanting more as the last notes linger and melt away.

To listen to Gabby Colledge’s music, visit her soundcloud, and let us know your thoughts below.

Yoshika Colwell

Known to everyone as Yoshi, Yoshika Colwell is an undergraduate at the University of York and everyone who knows her know about her voice.

Singing live gigs across the city at various cabaret and jazz nights, Yoshi wows audiences wherever she sings with her beautiful smooth tone and alternative covers. She has a range of covers on Youtube under the title ‘Live in the Living Room’ where she re-discovers well known songs in a simple, yet beautiful style. Listening to them, you wouldn’t know she hadn’t written them herself. My personal favourite is her cover of Bob Marley’s ‘Soul Rebel’ – believe me, it’s nothing like you’ve heard that song before!

As well as her beautiful covers, Yoshi also provides the vocal track for the radio drama Trimble, produced by URY (University Radio York) and written by Edward Greenwood. The show is currently nominated in the Best Online or Non-Broadcast Audio drama catagory in the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2014.

I thoroughly recommend listening to Yoshi and checking out her music. Not just because she’s a lovely person, but also because she’s an incredibly talented musician. Her soundcloud has a lot of good examples of her music – https://soundcloud.com/yoshikacolwell – but check out that aforementioned Bob Marley cover – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cqzxYuV_Pwc

Adam French

Adam French is a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from the North-West of England. His life as a solo-artist has been relatively short, yet he has already accomplished a lot. He has been featured as a top story on the National BBC ‘introducing’ page, as well as recently completing a tour of Southern Africa.

He’s received wonderful reviews for his music both live and recorded and has now produced a music video (featured) for his new single ‘Shiver’, starring Hollyoaks actress Bianca Hendrickse-Spendlove and directed by Dean Straffron.

Adam spins himself as a new, innovative musician and has a genuine love for what he does. He is described by reporters as being incredibly hard-working and seems dedicated to his career. His style has all the workings of indie magic, and his emotive lyrics are thought provoking and well thought out. It’s evident that this is a musician who has worked hard at perfecting his craft and it seems the time has come for that hard work to start paying off.

Adam has also mastered the art of the ‘hook’ – his songs are catchy, almost addictive – and he achieves this with ease (and without the mass irritation caused by most ‘catchy’ tunes). After listening to his single a couple of times you can’t help but find yourself singing a few of his lyrics under your breath throughout the rest of the day. And what’s more, you don’t hate him for it!

If you want to find out more about Adam and his work or listen to more of his music there are several places you can go. Check out his Twitter @AdamFrenchUK or like him on Facebook – www.facebook.com/adamfrenchmusicuk

Alternatively, just visit his website www.adamfrench.co.uk and there are links to all of his social media, bios and much much more!

Kassassin Street

Kassassin Street are a band hailing from Portsmouth. With a new take on traditional style, these original, self-produced young men are whipping up a storm. I caught up with Rowan Bastable, the lead singer from the band, and asked him about the history, music and the artwork of the band.

“Kassassin Street started officially 2 years ago, though we’d been jamming together in various forms for a while before that. I met Nath at school and started playing guitar around the same time he was learning drums, it was an ideal excuse to bunk out of P.E. If I’m honest I think that’s where the two of us really discovered music – during P.E.”

Rowan described to me how, through the process of experimentation and endless hours of recording, the band managed to form ‘epic’ new sounds that would later become fully grown-songs.

Influences

“I’d say we listen to a lot of psychedelia, 60’s and 70’s pop/alternative bands and electronic music when together. I’m really into the experimental bands of the 70’s. We share a joint passion for Krautrock, with the likes of Can, Kraftwerk and Neu! Giving birth to music that rid itself of all convention. Sonically and emotively I believe Krautrock rules, it’s like the soundtrack to life, a constant journey, a flowing of time with a repetitive beat paralleling the monotony of everyday routine. It’s escapism art in it’s purest form.”

Society

“I think we are living in a very unique Britain right now, a country amidst constant change. I feel very much a part of the forgotten generation, our dreams swept away amongst the greed of the political generation before. We now live in ‘unavoidable times’ with ‘unavoidable cuts’ and the young are paying the price in education fees, redundancies and interest rates.”

Centre Straight Atom (featured video)

As an admirer of this band for sometime, I had to showcase them. I remember the shiver sent down my spine the first time I heard ‘Centre Straight Atom.’ An absolute belter of a song, and despite being over 4 minutes, it doesn’t lose attention, in fact it demands it. I was curious as to it’s meaning and origins.

“It isn’t actually about nuclear warfare at all. It was really a response to a BNP rally in Portsmouth, (the bands hometown). They chose to swoop on Portsmouth for a demonstration because of it’s links with The Navy. They were not made to feel welcome at all, and I wanted to document that.”

Artwork

“The artwork was designed by Ryan. Moloko Vellocet is the psychoactive milk that Alex and his Droogs drink in A Clockwork Orange. I really like the Nadsat language they speak in the book.There wasn’t a lot of deep thought to it though. It just sounded great! I’ve just phoned him and he said that he knew we wanted something psychedelic when he started designing it, so that was at the forefront of his ideas. He wanted to use lots of flowing lines and colour to make the cover eye-catching and different from the artwork of our first EP. I like the fact that no matter how long you stare at it, your eyes continually pick out new shapes amongst the lines.”

Touring now, with new material in the works, there is more to be expected from this refreshing gift to the rock band genre. For more, visit here.

 

 

INKA

Olivia Rafferty spent seven years playing the French Horn and singing classically. Though she stresses that this is not the kind of music she plays anymore, traditional music techniques are very much apparent in the melodious tones of this Edinburgh based singer songwriter. Originally from Aberdeen, she is now studying for a degree in English Literature at Edinburgh University, and since arriving here four years ago, INKA has been born out of the vibrant creative scene that the city has to offer.

Musically speaking, she cites the likes of Bruce Springsteen, Prince, and Billy Joel as inspiration. Though she might not sound much like all or any of them, it’s their bottle she admires. ‘Melodic, real, and unashamedly catchy’ are the qualities she has taken and mastered from this slew of greats, but the fact that they are all men is noteworthy: this genre of acoustic pop has often been dominated by males, and INKA tells me that the contemporary Edinburgh music scene is no different. That’s not to mention the ‘Scottish folk’ tradition that pervades most of the sounds of these acoustic singers, but this is exactly what makes INKA such an exciting talent. As a female pop acoustic artist, she finds her niche quite neatly.

I for one find that there is much in her songs to empathise with. My favourite song, ‘Innocence’ speaks to me quite clearly about relationships I have been in. I know this to be true of all my friends also, be they male or female, Scot or not, and is this not the most obvious sign of a successful artist? There is absolutely something very universal about her lyrics, which she says often come to her at the most inconvenient of times. But often this is the way: genius strikes when you least expect it.

Rafferty graduates at the end of this academic year, and from there she hopes to go to Toronto. She is in the process of cultivating her first EP, but as she builds her fan base, gigging takes priority, but ‘putting one foot in front of the other’ moreso. Her gumption and drive will undoubtedly see her through – and I for one sincerely hope she continues to write, for her talent is enormous and very exciting.

inkamusicofficial@gmail.com

www.inkamusic.co.uk

The Monty Hall Problem

Glasgow-based band The Monty Hall Problem have been making music for two years now. Having met at school, Lewis, Mark, Ryan, and Timmy quickly developed a great musical repore. Now, with an album coming out early next year that they have funded themselves, a record deal is on the horizon for the four piece combo.

From the formative stages in Glasgow, the boys are now steadily going their separate ways. They now bridge their hometown and Edinburgh, and play most of their gigs in these two cities. They make it work with a combination of hot talent and fierce dedication.

Music is the ultimate goal for all four: their indie, rock n’ roll vibe hones in on the sound of a younger generation, of which they, crucially, are a part. They write all of their own music, testament to outstanding creative powers, and the inspirational use of brass and keyboards gives a profoundly emotive tone to their songs. Their influences include the likes of Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Glasvegas, and the Vaccines. They draw a lot of comparisons with these last – tapping into that same young indie vibe, but putting a uniquely Glaswegian crunch on the lyrics and riffs.

Future plans include the promotion of their first album, entitled ‘Is This a Dream or Am I This Lucky’ after a track on the album. Under the tutelage of producer Roger Shephard, it will be out in early 2013. What follows is anyone’s guess, but there are whisperings of a UK tour. For now, check out upcoming gigs on their facebook page, or email that at themontyhallproblem@live.co.uk.

Come see The Monty Hall Problem play in Edinburgh next November 27th for the Scottish stint of the Born in Britain Creative Showcase. Details on the facebook event page.

Marvellous Medicine

If you’ve been searching for the new groove: look no further. How happy I was to be introduced to Oxford-based Marvellous Medicine: very much a mash of jazz and folk, ska and rap, most of their melodies obviously fall into a reggae mood. They say that ‘this is a consistent feature, but you can hear Brecker-inspired funk in our song Colour, klezmer music in Streets and Avenues, and Spice Girls (!) in Girl Back Home.’

Marvellous Medicine met whilst studying at St. Peter’s College, Oxford, (the informal, arty kind of college) and it was the initial efforts of Rob – bass, Piers – keys, Jake – sax, and George – cello/djembe that founded the band. A year later, they were joined by Jamie and Holly, playing the guitar and drums respectively, and together formed MM, the six man wonder-band they are today.

Hailing from all over the UK, their backgrounds are an equally mixed bag when it comes to music. Rob, former member of a thrash metal band, cites a particular love of Bruce Springsteen, which proved of great influence in the song Homecoming. George has had classical training his whole life, and is now a formidable cellist, whilst Piers studied jazz and classical piano in Cardiff. The others are equally enthusiastic about their work, and have all been from an early age. But they do stress that this is foremostly a collaborative effort  – all members of the band sing, and they fondly consider themselves to be ‘a colorful set of personalities, but the music that comes out puts a smile on our faces’. Ours too.

So what’s next for MM? They have just released a four track EP, available on soundcloud here. They intend to continue making music together for the foreseeable future, with the ultimate intention of touring ‘Planet Earth’. I for one cannot wait; this band’s unique and soulful sound is well worth a listen. Catch them on their facebook page: facebook.com/MarvellousMedicine.

bare pale

It’s amazing where a little bit of tech know how can get you, and for young London based band Bare Pale, it looks like infinity and beyond. About a year ago, Matthew (guitar and lead vocals) made tentative steps onto soundcloud. Following an early onslaught of praise and recognition from a slew of music bloggers, the band compounded into what it is today.

Matthew was joined by childhood friends Harry (drums) and Joe C (bass and vocals) to form a holy trinity. Their music comes together somewhat naturally, and has to fit in around already busy schedules. However, after a year of gigging and jamming, bare pale are finally set to release an EP towards the end of this year.

It’s difficult to put a finger on Bare Pale’s sound. Messy riffs and catchy beats bolster the delicate and melodious lyrics: the kind of music you hope is played at the end of the evening, and is often pulled into soundtracks for big-budget indie films. This melancholic slush is remarkably easy listening, filling the gap for weekend afternoon sounds. They quote Bloody Valentine, Dinosaur Jr., and Pavement as inspiration, but their novel out-of-this-world sound is unlike any other, likened by one blog to ‘the xx played through a marshmallow’.

This particular brand of ‘fuzz’ is currently based in Harry’s basement; bare pale are currently looking to broaden their horizons by stepping out of Londontown and going a little further afield, available for gigs in the UK. Their tracks are currently available for download here, and make sure to follow them via their facebook page.