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!

Champs

Brothers David and Michael Champion first started playing and writing songs in their teens when their dad bought home a rugged old second hand guitar from a charity shop. The boys grew up on the quiet and scenic pastures of the Isle of Wight and have been recording together since 2001.

Now the Champions are back as part of the appropriately named Champs- a three piece featuring David and Michael Champion playing alongside fellow Islander Tom Gardner of well-known Isle of Wight indie rock band The Bees.0, when they released an EP as part of indie rock band The Shutes, who recorded three records and embarked on a European tour before going their separate ways.

I first came across Champs when they sent out an appeal on the community-focussed Isle of Wight blog On The Wight, the purpose of which was to ask swimming pool owners if they would allow the brothers to jump into their pools as part of a concept for a music video for the title track of their first EP Spirit Is Broken.

Having started out playing in local churches and at Island music festivals, Champs have rapidly caught the attention of the indie music scene. They sent their self-recorded single St Peters into BBC Radio 2, which led to them doing a live session with Dermot O’Leary, giving an interview which primarily revolved around the chickens kept in the mum’s garden.

Champs have far more than their domestic Isle of Wight charm to offer. Their beautifully poetic original lyrics combined with catchy yet faintly haunting melody make their songs impossible to cast from your mind once you’ve listened to them. Their soft vocals and tuneful harmonies are reminiscent of acoustic English folk music, but these come along with plugged in indie rock undertones which thrust the classic melodic feel into the modern era.

The band’s original request was honoured by many a swimming pool owner – and the music video became a reality. Since then the EP has spread like wildfire over the internet and has caught the eyes and ears of many a radio DJ. Champs have created for themselves a humble yet dedicated fanbase through social networks and word of mouth, along with a lot of support from family and friends.

New-found fame aside, they still are sure to come home and play in a locally every now and then, playing as part of the Bestival line up and setting themselves up in a Church this summer to play as part of a local fringe festival. That’s not all though – the boys are set to go much further. They have already played several headline shows in London and around Europe, and are even planning heading across the pond to Pennsylvania in November to play in the US for the first time.

Mano’s Daughter

I am a fan of Tim Minchin, and as such, I follow him on Twitter. So, naturally when I read the tweet, “Tim Minchin: Gig Tip: Saw @ManosDaughter live the other night. Huge fan. Unique sound, brilliant lyrics, beautiful vocalist. Next gig Dec 6th @Cargo_LDN.”, I decided to check them out.

Upon doing so, I was amazed that this band hadn’t crossed my path before. They are an extremely talented trio, producing a wonderful collection of alternative electronic music, most of which cannot be described as anything less than hauntingly beautiful.

Hailing from London, the group consists of Sarah Carter (Vocals), Matthias Garrick (Synths, programming) and Dan See (Drums). They have been described as a mixture of Little Dragon, Florence and The Machine, with hints of Portishead. When seen live, (by audiences other than Tim Minchin) they have been described as “an explosive three piece, with their almost anthemic choruses and thought provoking lyrics”. They really do provide a really interesting listen, and go particularly well with essay-writing or coursework (something of a preoccupation of mine at the moment!).

Their influences range from The Invisible, Foals, Everything Everything to Bon Iver and Moloko. Mano’s Daughter make songs and song-writing the heart of their sound. The story and production values both play an equal part in this band’s finished product.

Check them out at http://www.manosdaughter.co.uk/ or just search for them on Youtube. Their own written stuff is incredible, but also I can thoroughly recommend their cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Towers’ which is just stunning.

SEAWAVES

SEAWAVES are a Dreampop duo from Manchester, comprised of Si Van Brussel and Dan Trayno.  In their own words, they united through analogous life experiences at the end of 2012; paralleled with mutual appreciation of the emotional perceptions obtained within dreams and reflecting those same feelings in both audio and visual form.

SEAWAVES are currently in the process of producing their debut full length release entitled ‘The Pistol Star’ which they plan to release at the end of the year. The album will feature the acclaimed up-and-coming songs “Born To Fly” and “I’ll Love You All The Time” both of which receive regular radio play on stations such as XFM and Amazing Radio; The latter of which is featured on the Mango Alley Digital Imprint 2013 Summer Chillout Compilation Album ‘We Only See Sun Glare’ which is available on iTunes, Beatport and Juno music stores and is receiving fast rising popularity worldwide.

Although currently unsigned they aim to correspond with the best record labels who wish to share and promote the SEAWAVES vision, which is to provide the audience with a brand new way of experiencing music…


1. Who are your greatest musical influences?

Si: I grew up listening to all kinds of metal bands and gradually progressed into other areas.  Jared Leto has a brilliant voice and great stage presence, but I like to take influences from all great singers.  Hopefully one day, I’ll get to a place where I am mentioned amongst them.

Dan:  I’m actually more influenced by film composers such as James Newton Howard, Jon Brion, Thomas Newman, which probably explains why SEAWAVES can sound very film-like.

2.  How do you enjoy gigging?  Do you have a favourite city?

Si & Dan:  We’ve currently only just started touring, but we’ve got constant bookings for late 2013.  We like to showcase our unique talent and vision to live audiences around the UK; and hope that one day, we can deliver filmic visuals which we have shot and directed ourselves.

Our opening show was in Sheffield, and we’re playing our hometown of Manchester on the 23rd November at Dry Bar in the Northern Quarter which we’re really looking forward to.  We hope to get a full tour on board at some point in the near future; but for now, we hope to just astound and perplex our audiences with a brand new, never before seen live experience.

3. What do you reckon you’d be doing if you weren’t in the music industry?

Si & Dan: Our second love after music is gym and keeping in good shape, so most likely personal trainers!  However, we are also keen to get more into directing.

4. What’s the plan for 2014?

Si & Dan: Our debut album ‘The Pistol Star’ will be released in 2014, and we’re looking to release four singles from it; including ‘Born To Fly’ and ‘I’ll Love You All The Time’, both of which actually receive regular radio play on XFM and Amazing Radio.  Also, although we’re currently unsigned; our aim is to correspond with the best record labels who wish to share and promote the SEAWAVES vision, which is to provide the audience with a brand new way of experiencing music; converging sonic reality and cinematic dreams in a truly epic form.  Finally, we hope to continue playing more shows in the UK and unravel exactly what the SEAWAVES vision is.

Check out their twitter and Facebook.

Odinn Orn Hilmarsson

Originally from Iceland and now living in London, Odinn is a graduate of the University of York whom I had the pleasure of meeting in my first year. Evidently a very talented multi-instrumental musician, just listening to him play is a wonderful experience, but it is his composition that sets him apart from the norm.

During his time as a student, Odinn began writing and producing scores for several of the theatre shows and films he became involved in during his spare time and his Masters degree in Digital Film Production. This has only spiralled, with his music now featuring in multiple shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, The King’s Head Theatre (London), The Last Refuge Theatre (London) and many more.

Odinn’s acoustic and ethereal style is beautifully unique; his work has that invaluable quality of the greats like Zimmer and Williams – you know when you’re listening to Odinn Hilmarsson. And when you do listen to his music, you get that other-worldly prickling feeling reserved for finding something truly special. That and the chills usually caused by musical genius.

You can find his newest song Tomasina on his Soundcloud – https://soundcloud.com/gangleri – as well as teasers from his current projects and other experimental work.

Alternatively, you can find more of Odinn’s finished work at http://odinnhilmarsson.bandcamp.com/, or follow him on Twitter @odinnthehole. I can’t recommend highly enough giving this talented emerging artist a listen – you may just get the chance to boast, “I heard it before he was a household name”.

The King’s Parade

Sometimes all you need to find talent is to take a hike – or a walk in Camden Locke. Whilst wandering to the nearby station and grabbing some Pakistani-style chicken masala wrap (with cheese), I followed the catchy strains of guitar drifting past the bridge and came across The King’s Parade – to be precise, their four talented members, Olivier Corpe (vocals/guitar), Sam Rooney (piano/vocals), Tom English (bass and sax), and Chris ‘The King” Brent, wielding his drumsticks with savvy.

In this age of Internet-based advertising, it’s refreshing to find a band that so relentlessly and successfully pursues a musical career through direct interaction with their listeners: live street performances. Scrolling through the music video of their hit single “Vagabond” on Youtube, the enthusiastic comments are largely from fans exclaiming that they found the R&B band through performances in places ranging from Trafalgar Square, Camden, the British Museum and even Leeds.

Their music is catchy and melodic, upbeat notes and rich, deep voices tinged with melancholia. The Parade’s Motown influences lend soul to their professional compositions and contemporary lyrics, perhaps best seen in “Vagabond”, which has now over 18,000 plays on Soundcloud and has amassed them a slowly growing fanbase – one whose strength rests in the fact that that many of those fans have already had the privilege of listening to them live, and know they prove to be just as good in reality as through a computer screen or filtered through a pair of headphones.

The King’s Parade’s first album will be officially released this October, and their next gig is coming up on the 16th of October at Paper Dress in London. If you’re seeking a quietly enchanting something to go with that chilled drink in the dusk of evening or some bluesy tunes to keep you company in the silence of the night, have a listen to the band by perusing their website and Facebook, or following their sounds via Soundcloud and Youtube.

Jordan Reed

It’s lucky, in a way, that I have to be constantly on the lookout for new and exciting musicians and artists when I’m writing this blog. What’s even luckier that I have a whole plethora of talented friends, right under my nose. Here’s another Sheffield-based master of indie acoustic rock: Jordan Reed. Hailing from Ruislip in London, his silky voice and talented guitar playing have been getting him noticed in musical circles here – turns out it’s not so grim up North, after all. Let’s get to know him a little better…

What did you want to do when you were a kid?

I wanted to be an astronaut. I’ve always been fascinated by science and space and I thought there was nothing cooler than being someone who goes out there and experiences it first hand. One year, I got given a telescope kit because I wanted to learn more about the stars, but it wasn’t very good, so I ended up learning more about my neighbours than the night sky…

What do you do in your spare time?

I’m always watching movies; I find I can draw a lot of influence from these. You can get a lot of advice and wisdom from films – ‘Rooftops’ by Lost Prophets was inspired by a Zach Braff movie, didyaknow?

 What or who are your influences?

The people around me. I try to include my relationships with my friends and family into what’s going on with my music – they’re such a huge part of my life, and it’s a good way of documenting my feelings at that time. Like a musical diary. I like Green Day and Jack Savoretti and Johnny Cash a lot, though.

 How would you describe your ‘sound’?

I’m still trying to discover my own sound right now. A “not-as-good-but-hopefully-one-day-I’ll-be-like John Butler Trio”.

What was the first album you ever bought? (No judgement; mine was Britney Spears. Shameful.)

My Chemical Romance ‘I Brought You My Bullets, You Brought Me Your Love’. What. An. Emo.

Yeah, wow… let’s move away from any sharp objects. What would be your perfect gig line-up?

The Beatles, that would have been awesome. And Queen. Nirvana. (I’m going for the ones we know we can’t see, in this purely hypothetical situation).

What’s your proudest achievement?

Scoring the winning goal at a national football tournament when I was 11 or 12. Sad that I’ve not done anything that noteworthy since.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve got a few gigs in the pipeline but nothing’s set in stone yet. I might work on a side project or two, but for now I’m just developing my sound and focussing on improving my craft.

Dornik

Dornik is a brand-spanking-new electronic musician/ singer-songwriter/ producer from London. Dornik is the new kid on the block, but his sound will take you musically back to the 1980s, to a time when MJ was in his peak.

In June Dornik released himself onto the music scene with the release of his debut single ‘Something About You’, from his forthcoming album with PMR Records. Dornik undoubtedly has got himself singed to a fantastically cool record company, who are home to Jessie Ware (who Dornik used to drum for), Julio Bashmore, Javeon McCarthy, and Disclosure among few. Disclosure publicly announced their love for their PMR brother’s sound, commenting on Twitter “Future/Michael Jackson/r’n b/soul/step? Think that covers it”.

In my opinion Dornik is a British version of Frank Ocean, Drake and the Weekend, with the modern soul and R&B feel. Arguably British R&B has not been concurred as well as the American have done, until now – so if you love R&B, then you’ll love Dornik. Dornik’s debut single has already caused a large stir of online attention. The Guardian have already named ‘Something About You’ as their New Band of the Day, also commenting that Dornik’s sound is Michael Jackson mixed with Disclosure- which is a perfect description of Dornik’s music. Carrie Battan has name ‘Something About You’ as the Best New Track, believing that the tune is a nod “toward West Coast luxury– gold watches, pools, neon lights, Boogie Nights, Sunset Boulevard, come to mind– without seeming tacky or kitschy. That’s mostly thanks to Dornik’s weightless-but-rich vocal arrangement, seemingly sprung from the ashes of the Jackson 5. This is how you make an entrance.”

For someone who is a newborn to the heavy populated music world, Dornik’s entrance hints for a promising future. I’m so excited to see this new British artist flourish.

 

Go and check out Dornik’s great new sound and single. Head to;

Dornik’s Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/dornik

Dornik’s official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dornikmusic

September Sky

This week I caught up with a fantastic young band, who have been working hard to develop their unique style. Hertfordshire based September Sky are an extremely talented group with both songwriting talent and awesome performance ability. With a string of upcoming shows the band are becoming more well known, with their talents continuing to develop. Definitely one to watch! Their music is deep, memorable and very catchy. I highly recommend you check them out, and definitely make it to one of their gigs if your in the hertfordshire, london area! With all great bands you haven’t fully experienced them, until you’ve seen them live. I caught up with the guys to ask them a few questions:

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Tell me a bit about your musical style as a band

Our style is one we like to say we found on our own. It is based around a pop punk/Alternative style with some post hardcore mixed in.

What influences and inspires you most, when creating your music?

I think we all have different influences, but that’s where our sound comes from. By each of us having our own we create something new. Mostly alternative bands like Paramore and Fightstar to Interpol, Coheed and Cambria, Evanescence and many others.

As a group, have you found if difficult to establish your style, or has it just come naturally?

We feel it came quite naturally, we enjoy what we play and we all seem to write music in a very similar style to each other so there’s not really much of a struggle to fit each other into one style, especially considering the diversity of music we listen to. Sometimes difficulties can come along for us when writing but once the ball gets rolling things come a lot easier.

What are your thoughts on the british music scene of today?

Different. Very different! It’s funny to see just how much music changes over the years and we think that if you go looking for them, there are hundreds of fantastic bands around, no matter what style or genre you prefer. We’ve played with such a huge range of bands and most nights we’ve found something we’ve really enjoyed and gotten into. There is so much creativity around where as, probably due to restrictions on freedom, some big signed bands can be lacking in something sometimes, but all n all the British scene is good

Finally where can our readers see more of you guys in the future? Do you have any up and coming shows or projects?

You can check out our Facebook page and our twitter

A few of our songs can be found on youtube and on our band page. 

And we have a video in the works so keep an eye out for us

The gigs we got coming up are 
20th July Bridgehouse, London
19th October Asylum Chelmsford
We hope to see you all there 

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I hope you enjoyed that guys! Be sure to check out the band online to be the first to hear about new songs and upcoming shows!

Twitter

Facebook

Youtube

 

Eliza and the Bear

Eliza and the Bear consist of no lady called Eliza, and sadly no bear. But it does consist of five very talented young men from London. Eliza and the Bear are a folk pop group who bring something new to indie pop world, with their catchy and upbeat tunes and stage presents. What makes this band stand out is the close friendship these boys genuinely have. Paul Lester wrote in his Guardian feature of the band, that this band is “boisterous, cacophonous indie made by enthusiastic young men who want to communicate their excitement at being alive”.

Their popular song ‘Upon the North’ is one of my favourite songs, and it will no doubt put you in a happy summer dancing mood. Sounding similar to The Lumineers and their hit song Ho Hey, Eliza and the Bear share the similar husky folk vocals, great guitar and happy overall melody. They also share a similar sound to Dry the River, which is unsurprising as they have worked with the acclaimed music producer Peter Miles, who has worked with the likes of Dry the River, The King Blues, The Skints, We Are the Ocean and so many more. Eliza and the bears have just released their new song ‘Friends’, adding yet another great song to their musical repertoire. ‘Friends’ stays true to the music Eliza and the Bear create, being upbeat and jubilant. Yet again these boys have created another great summery happy tune, which will accompany your swaying body and your beating foot perfectly in the garden with a nice cold cider in your hand.

Make sure you catch this rising band at their September tour! For more info, head to:

http://elizaandthebear.com/

https://soundcloud.com/elizaandthebear

https://www.facebook.com/elizaandthebear

Now you have no excuse not to see these boys live.

Death at Sea

Great music never fails to come out of Liverpool, and Death at Sea is no exception. Death at Sea is a new rock, pop and alt band, consisting of five talented Liverpudlians. Describing themselves as the “new noise from Liverpool”, their sound is similar to Sonic Youth, mixed with The Strokes, mixed with the Pixies, mixed with The Clash ( i.e. a great concoction). Coming from the monumental musical city, Death at Sea uniquely draws influence from lofi 80’s and 90’s guitar bands. Their songs are heavily dominated with great guitar solos, and you can clearly hear the guitar influence of bands such as The Smashing Pumpkins and Dinosaur Jr.- producing some great and modern rock ‘n’ roll.

This band has only been around for a year, kicking their musical career off in January 2012. Although they are new, they have already toured with the likes of the Palma Violets, Savages, Splashh, and the indie-pop trio of sisters HAIM (accompanying them at their sold out concerts across the UK and Germany). Death at Sea has also caught the music world’s attention, with the likes of NME and Zane Lowe praising the boys for their guitar sound. Mr Lowe has already named their song ‘Drag’ as his ‘hottest record in the world’. This is especially impressive when you hear that these talents wrote the single in their living room, and recorded the hit then and there. This DIY band have also produced a limited edition cassette and vinyl of their rock song ‘Drag’, taking it back to their 80s and 90s roots, (although they admit that the cassette tape idea was so that they could play it in their old-school car).

Go and check out this hot up-and-coming band! Head to;

Their official website: http://www.deathatseaofficial.com/

Their SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/death-at-sea

And their Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DEATHATSEA

Fallingham Fair

I’m back on the folk train again this week people, but I assure you, it is for good reason. Formed in Birmingham back in 2010, Fallingham Fair are a folk-pop trio whose uplifting style and delicious range of vocal harmonies have seen them top my personal iTunes chart for a good few weeks now. After listening to them, I guarantee they’ll be having the same effect on you too.

Fallingham Fair was born out of a series of collaborative live shows between its three members, Fred Claridge (Vocals, Guitar), Aoife McCauley (Vocals) and Tim Gilvin (Vocals, Keyboard). Since then the trio have steadily been building a name for themselves on the indie-folk scene, playing a diverse range of festivals (including New Roots Folk Festival and Camden Rock) and releasing their debut self-titled album in 2011. In March of this year, the group released their second album Songbook to a flurry if praise which, when coupled with their increased airplay from the likes of Channel 4 and 6Music’s Lauren Laverne, surely means that this as yet unsigned band are inches away for  being snapped up.

For me, it is Fallingham Fair’s ability to invite the listener into their songs that makes them such a winning combination. There is a friendliness intertwined in the beautiful chords and soaring harmonies, a sort of soothing and seemingly effortless warmth that is simultaneously enticing and exciting.

For more information about Fallingham Fair, find them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. You can also visit their bandcamp, where you’ll find download links for all their albums and individual songs.