Sunday, 28 July 2013

Brittany McLamb EP Review

Brittany McLamb has just released her self-titled debut EP featuring seven tracks which blend together modern country and pop. Hailing from Salemburg, North Carolina Brittany currently calls Nashville, Tennessee home. The EP kicks off with All The Little Pieces a modern country song in the style of Faith Hill. Brittany’s vocals are highly polished and chart worthy. This is a wonderful opening offering highlighting Brittany’s talents as a country singer. This is more country than pop and has a subtle deepness that only becomes evident upon the second or third listen. Summer Rain is an up tempo country/pop song, again leaning more on country than pop. Brittany’s vocals are cheery and easy on the ear making this song a pleasure to listen to. Knockin’ On Your Heart is a classy modern country song in the style of early Taylor Swift. Brittany seems to have quite a striking vocal ability. Her vocals are stylish and have something quite charming about them that makes listeners want to listen to more than just one song. Mr Right sees the tempo slip a notch. This is another catchy modern country song. Here Brittany’s vocals are lighter and breezy. Back From Your Goodbye is a rockier country/pop song. Brittany’s vocals on this song seem to take on more of an edge. I Didn’t Think That is a slower country song. Once again Brittany’s vocals remind me of Faith Hill. House Of Cards brings the EP to a close. This is a live offering and shows a different side to Brittany’s musical and vocal style. This song has a much heavier rocky/country feel. The lyrics are strong and Brittany’s vocals are solid and confident. All in all this is a debut offering that highlights Brittany McLamb’s potential as a country/pop singer. The songs here are good and pleasurable to listen to. Brittany’s vocals show a great deal of maturity and power, which should serve her well for the future. 

Sarah Murray Song Review

Sarah Murray is an exciting and extremely talented singer/songwriter and producer from Cork, Ireland. Having performed with many bands over the years Sarah is now starting to emerge as a solo female performer. With two songs released so far Sarah is busy recording and writing new material. Sarah’s main passion in life is music and her dream is to release a full length solo album, a dream that is looking ever more like a reality with the attention she is currently picking up from the music industry. Sarah’s sound is an atmospheric one. Her vocals are strong and have a vivid character all of their own. Some might compare her sound to that of The Corrs. Although there are similarities Sarah’s music has a lot more depth, which is mostly down to her striking vocals. Sarah’s first two solo releases effortlessly blend pop and folk together throwing in a bit of rock for good measure.

Ferris Wheel is a really upbeat pop/folk song with strong lyrics written by Sarah. Definitely worthy of a high chart placing Ferris Wheel shows off Sarah’s unique vocal talents, which are spot on. This song has a real edge and plenty of angst. Its catchy beat gives this song a stand out feel. Sarah’s vocals are forceful but never over the top. A real joy to listen to this song is a must for fans of good quality pop/folk music. Sarah’s vocals have similar qualities to those of Andrea Corr and inevitable comparisons will be drawn between the two but Sarah for me is more a mix of Andrea Corr’s luscious harmonies and Dolores O’Riordan’s angst and power. The end result is something outstanding and really mesmerising.

Better Than This is quite breathtaking. Sarah’s vocals have a velvety quality about them on this gentle slightly airy pop/folk song. This song is both classy and atmospheric. Perfect for a hot summer’s day with its lingering instrumentation and Sarah's stunning vocals, which captivate and linger on long after the song has finished. This is anything but a bland run of the mill Irish pop/folk offering. Sarah’s performance on this song is strong and really engages the listener. Listening to Sarah’s rendition of this self-penned song you can feel yourself drifting off to an intimate bar or cafĂ© and watching Sarah perform this song for the small crowd gathered around her. Her music is that good! 

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Alicia Smith - Welcome To Reality

A talented singer with lots of potential for the future
Alicia Smith is a very talented young singer born on a military base in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Alicia seems extremely grounded and writes and sings more for the emotional connection of the lyrics of a song or the eyes of an audience than for praise and plaudits. Naturally gifted when it comes to writing songs Alicia uses her emotions as a platform to write great songs that she can share with others. Her 2011 offering WELCOME TO REALITY is a punchy country/rock/pop offering, which showcases her vocal talents as well as her song writing skills. Welcome To Reality kicks off her five track EP in rousing style. An extremely rocky song with a bluesy country vibe Alicia’s vocals are strong, powerful and edgy. This song really packs a loud harsh punch. Pretending You’re Mine sees the mood slow enormously. This is a gentler ballad heavily infused with country music. Strong lyrics and vocals give this song depth and class. Married Tonight is a modern country song with a strong pop influence. Alicia’s vocals are quite outstanding with hints of many modern country singers within them plus maybe a bit of Shelby Lynne on her bluesy numbers. What We Gonna Do is a strong country/pop song. Alicia’s vocals are slightly richer and velvety on this classy song. This song is certainly strong and perhaps the best song on the EP? You’ll Be Alright brings the EP to a close. Another top quality country/pop song. This song has echoes of an older style of country, which really suits Alicia’s vocal style and range. Here there are hints of The Dixie Chicks. All in all this is an interesting EP that blends country with pop quite effortlessly. There is good quality music here and Alicia should use this EP as a platform to build from

Kalisa Ewing song review

Kalisa Ewing is a wonderful young lady who writes well constructed and meaningful lyrics and has the voice of an angel quite literally. Her vocals are a delicate concoction of haunting emotive vocal ranges and powerfully strong rocky overtones. In her songs the lyrics are honest and raw. Each of Kalisa’s songs tells a story enhanced by her charming vocals. Kalisa was raised just outside of Nashville and had penned her first song by the tender age of eleven. Kalisa learnt the art of writing poems in order to enhance and strengthen her song writing skills. Listen to her fine tuned lyrics and you can tell that learning paid off for her big time.

Where Did Your Love Go is a lovely country song with fresh country vocals. A strong song enhanced by Kalisa’s vocals, which are really rich and also quite soft and gentle. Definitely a potential hit given the right amount of airplay and exposure. This is modern country at its very best. Classy, with depth and quality – this is far from the manufactured country pop that fills the country charts right now.

On A Roll is a beautiful country song.  Kalisa’s vocals are really strong and have power and passion in them. There is a refreshing tenderness which makes this song sound quite emotive.

Taking The Heart Out Of Everything is a slightly more rousing number. This song still has a strong country influence though.  Kalisa’s vocals have power and strength here, which gives this song a rocky feel.

Bang is one of those songs you will want to listen to over and over again. Kalisa’s vocals are awesome on this haunting track. Delicate and emotive this song is really lovely to listen to. The lyrics are spot on and worth a close listen. Kalisa easily blends modern country with a slight hint of pop.

Love Trial is another pure country song. Kalisa’s vocals are infectious and really quite stunning, intoxicating and emotive. There are touches of Emmylou Harris, during the middle of her carer, every so often in Kalisa’s vocal style.

Whatever is a slightly more pop than country song. This is definitely a radio friendly song that could do really well for this stunning country artist. The lyrics are strong and Kalisa’s vocals are definitely powerful. The chorus is catchy and overall this is a classy modern sounding song that has the potential to be an enormous hit!

Kalisa Ewing is a wonderfully evocative singer with an obvious amount of talent both as a songwriter and vocalist.  She has the perfect vocals for a country artist and she can write quite stunning songs that will stand the test of time. I personally cannot wait for this awesome singer to release an album. On the merit of the songs above I am sure it will be one of those albums that easily warrants a ten out of ten!

The Bundys - The Bundys

The Bundys
The Bundys
Self-released 887516042195
Interesting EP from a new family band
The Bundys are Katey, Ryan and Megan – siblings who grew up in Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up in a household full of music the trio decided to take their blend of country/folk to Nashville. The end result was their first ever EP. With wonderful harmonies their three voices fit together perfectly. The Story is a lovely country song with a strong modern feel. The music is light never intruding on their vocals making it a delight to listen to. Talk Me Down, Take Me Home is a more traditional country song with a hint of the Dixie Chicks mixed with Nickel Creek. The vocals are spot on. Stupid is a modern country song with more of a pop feel than the previous two songs on the EP. The Last Song is a wonderful country song with a traditional country vibe running through it. Upbeat and energised this is a great song. Four songs aren’t really enough to judge this new trio. It is obvious that all three have great vocal ability and combined their sound is strong and emotive. Where they fit in the world of country music is hard to say. Judging by The Last Song I would suggest following the more traditional country route. I look forward to hearing a lot more from these future stars. 

Kira Lynn Hladun - Something Like Love

Something Like Love
Kira Lynn Hladun
Self-released 622306923526
A breathtaking new album from an emerging female artist that deserves to go far
There are so many new and emerging female country artists it is hard to know who is going to make it big and who isn’t. A lot sound very similar in vocal style but occasionally you come across one who stands out above the rest of the crowd. Kira Lynn Hladun’s new album SOMETHING LIKE LOVE is a shinning example of good modern country music and wonderful vocal abilities. Kira is an extremely talented singer/songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta. Gotta’ Move On is a delicate country song with beautiful vocals. This opening number is quite mesmerising, the vocals really engulf you as a listener and make you long to hear more. A quite outstanding opening number! Something Like Love is another outstanding song with a strong country feel. Here the vocals are stronger and full of depth and emotion. Better In Time is a slightly more up-tempo song than the previous two. Still there is a strong country feel to this song. Nothin’ Right About Lovin’ You is another classy song, again slow and intense. Timing Is Everything has an old fashioned sound. The lyrics are worth a close listen. All Of Your Love is a more modern country song with a slight infusion of pop. Still Loving You sees the pace slow once again. Another beautiful country song packed full of emotion and meaning. Can’t Go Back rounds the album off nicely. This is a good strong country song with polished vocals. Sometimes there are hints of Rosanne Cash in Kira’s vocals if you listen closely. At only twenty years of age Kira has a long and promising carer ahead of her. This is one stunning album full of intense, powerful and charismatic songs all delivered with outstanding vocal ability and talent. 

Holly Denton - Holly Denton

Holly Denton
Holly Denton
Self-released 887516035517
Plenty of potential for the future here
Australian Holly Denton has been singing since the tender age of four. Holly is already a talented singer/songwriter mixing pop and country together to create a wonderful sound. Holly’s song writing skills are exceptional for one still so young. With her lyrics Holly can captivate listeners of all ages. Holly’s self titled EP showcases her wide array of talents and puts her forward as a name and talent for the future. Chocolate Overdoes proves what an outstanding song writer Holly really is. Her lyrics are fresh, straight to the point and so refreshing. This is a country song with a heavy dose of pop. Holly’s vocals have a natural twang, which makes them interesting and different. Another Tomorrow is a slow country song with luscious vocals. There is a touch of angst in Holly’s vocals, which only adds depth and quality to her music. Puppet Master is a rousing pop/country song. Quirky and catchy this song is jolly and quite uplifting. The final offering on Holly’s EP is called Walk Naked. Holly’s vocals are slightly more mature on this folk infused country song. I am reminded here a little of the hugely talented singer Nanci Griffith in her earlier years. Holly has plenty of potential as these songs illustrate. She is truly gifted and a real treat to listen to. 

Ashley Norton - Ashley Norton

Ashley Norton
Ashley Norton
Self-released 887516004131
Outstanding songs on this album of contrasts
American artist Ashley Norton has a knack for mixing different styles of music together with ease. Her new album blends together country, rock, blues and pop. Shutup & Talk To Me gets the album off to a bold, rocky start. Ashley’s vocals are powerful and strong enough to counteract the heavy instrumentation. Arizona Rain is a slow pure country song in the style of Lee Ann Womack. Ashley really puts everything into this beautiful song. Her vocals are lovely to listen to. Redneck Liberation sees the pace pick up again. This is another rocky country song with plenty of power and energy. Momma’s Daughter is an outstanding heavy rock infused country song. This is an anthemic country song in the style of Wynonna Judd or Gretchen Wilson. Unlove You sees a distinct change of pace. A striking ballad with delicate rather charming vocals. Perhaps more pop than country this song is easy on the ear and really quite wonderful. On this song Ashley proves that she is much more than a one trick pony! Love Hungover sees a return to the rocky country theme of the rest of the album. Catchy and up-beat this is a pleasant song. The final song on the album Angels On My Side is a gorgeous heart warming song packed with lots of emotion and passion. Like Unlove You  this song is delicate and almost fragile sounding. This album is a real mixed bag. All the songs are good and the vocals are outstanding throughout, my only complaint is that the songs swing too sharply between gentle and slow and fast and rousing – there is no rhythm. 

Rachel Rhodes - Heartland

Rachel Rhodes
Self-released 880547344627
The best debut ever
Rachel Rhodes is a highly talented singer . Rachel started off singing opera, emerging as a classical singer and appearing in operas. Performing in national and international tours and studying voice in Italy saw Rachel develop further as a singer. Finally however it was country music that saw Rachel blossom into the singer she is today. Just one short year after moving to Nashville Rachel has released her debut EP packed full of wonderful songs and great vocals. HEARTLAND is an outstanding debut EP showcasing Rachel’s talents and potential for the future. No Ordinary Night is a pop infused country song in the style of Taylor Swift. Rachel’s vocals are fresh and upbeat. A classic radio friendly song of the highest quality. Heartland, the title song, is one of those songs that makes you stop and listen no matter what you are doing. It is breathtakingly beautiful and such a wonderful country song. Rachel’s vocals are well suited to country music, they have a depth and a maturity way beyond Rachel’s young years. Soak It In is another charming country song featuring Rachel’s amazing vocals. Rachel mixes emotion and passion into her vocals perfectly. The end result is a stunning song. The Girl You Think You Love is another song of the highest quality. Again this song has the wow factor. Beautiful vocals adorn this song and the whole of this EP. Live On Love brings the EP to a wonderful conclusion. This is a slow pure country song. Enriched once again with Rachel’s mesmerising vocals this final offering is splendid. It is hard to find enough words to praise this EP. It is one of the best debuts I have heard in years, maybe ever. 

Kira Lynn Hladun - Modern Soul

Modern Soul
Kira Lynn Hladun
A wonderful debut showcasing an up and coming female country singer
Kira Lynn Hladun’s debut album MODERN SOUL demonstrates what a talented singer and vocalist Kira is and what listeners can expect in the future as her musical carer grows and grows. Released in 2010 this album showcases many of the songs Kira has performed for audiences in Alberta, Canada. The opening song is also the title track. Modern Soul is an angst ridden song which blends together pop and country. Kira’s vocals are strong and enjoyable to listen to. Where You Belong is one of those songs you listen to and go ‘wow’. An absolutely brilliant pop song with classy edgy vocals. Powerful and dramatic this song is incredible and well worth buying the album for. In The Night is a country song infused with pop. One again it is the wonderful vocals of Kira that make you sit up and take notice of the song. So I Can Remember is a lovely country song, slow paced and enthused with an exciting blend of backing instrumentation. Just The Girl is a strong country/pop song. Classy and stylish, Kira’s vocals are once again the main highlight. What My Life Needs is a lovely country/pop ballad. Kira’s vocals are fresh and feisty on this catchy number. This song reminds me of Natalie Imbruglia’s pop hit That Day. Follow My Own Path is another gorgeous song. Slow and emotive this song is a real pleasure to listen to. Kira;s vocals are captivating throughout this wonderful album. All the songs are worth listening to over and over. A star is born right here! 

O'Shea - One + One

One + One
Self-released 887516177231
A splendid album from this husband and wife duo
Husband and wife duo Mark and Jay O’Shea have been successful artists and songwriters since moving to Nashville. Most notably they were finalists in the Country Music Television series Can You Duet. Having individual successes before pairing up the couple have opened for top country acts such as Sara Evans and Phil Vassar. O’Shea’s music blends modern country music with pop to create a fresh uplifting sound. The album kicks off with a lovely country song This Could Be Our Year. Perhaps perfectly titled, this album could see O’Shea making it big and becoming household names in the world of country music. Both Jay and Mark take turns on vocals giving the song an interesting dynamic. Be With You Tonight is a beautiful country song. Jay and Mark’s vocals blend wonderfully together. Both sound strong and distinctive. Thank You Angels is a pop infused country song. Jay’s vocals are powerful and captivating on this rather splendid track that definitely deserves some airplay. Red Lights And Last Names sees both Jay and Mark share the vocals once again. Empty is a powerful bluesy country song with Jay demonstrating her wonderful vocal skills. Jay has a lovely voice well worth listening to as echoed here in this tremendous song. It Never Goes Away is a slow delicate country song. Jay and Mark harmonize wonderfully together here. Dancing In The Minefields is another lovely song brought to life with excellent vocals packed full of emotion. The lyrics of this song are worth a close listen. Look Down On The Stars is a rousing country/pop song. Mark’s vocals are brought centre stage on this song. Fresh and upbeat this is rather charming. Missing Miracles is an outstanding song. It is worth buying a copy of this album just for this amazing song alone. Wonderful vocals from Mark and Jay give this song depth and emotion. The Swimming Song is a fun, upbeat song with cheery and somewhat amusing lyrics. Wish You The Worst is a dramatic song with a heavy edge. The backing instrumentation is powerful and rousing. With a rocky feel this song is definitely another track worthy of some airplay. There’s No Place Like Home is more of a traditional country song. The title track is also the final offering on this outstanding album. One + One is a great song to end the album on.  Lovely vocals once again make this a stand out song. All in all this is an album of fine songs sung with lovely, luscious vocals. If you like modern country that is of a high standard then this album will suit you down to the ground. 

Dylan Arms - So Much To Say

So Much To Say
Dylan Arms
Self-released 887516179020
A hot new name for the future of good folk infused indie pop music
Dylan Arms debut EP mixes together elements of folk and pop to create something quite wonderful. Dylan’s vocals are outstanding and definitely worth a listen to. They have the power to captivate you and take you on a journey into musical heaven. My Soul gets the magic started. A lovely opening song, which straight away showcases Dylan’s amazing vocals and his potential for the future as a huge star. With hints of Marcus Mumford in his vocal style Dylan sounds confident and passionate about the words he is singing. Sunrise Awakening has more of a pop feel than folk. Once again Dylan’s vocals are the star. Quite upbeat this song will appeal to many fans of music no matter which genre they prefer. Me Without You is a brilliant song, quite stunning. It has a slight indie feel blended with a touch of pop and folk. With a hint of the Gallagher brothers in his vocals Dylan really sounds polished on this stand out track. The Change is a gentle offering, lighter in mood and style. The final song comes all too soon Waiting For You is dramatic and vocally strong. Here Dylan’s vocals stand out against the heavy backing instrumentation. Dylan is definitely a name to be remembered for the future. This EP demonstrates that he is vocally quite brilliant and stands head and shoulders above most of the young male singers emerging today. If you want to listen to something excellent and high quality then you definitely need to listen to this. 

The Cellmates - Rockabilly Feeling

Rockabilly Feeling
The Cellmates
Gregor Agency - G.A. Records 8588003027085
Get your dancing shoes on, you are gonna need them!
If you like rock ’n’ roll and/or rockabilly then The Cellmates are a band worth checking out. Hailing from Bratislava this talented group are the holders of the Rockabilly Award handed out in Germany. The Cellmates have performed in many countries including Austria, Germany and Slovakia. Twelve songs complete this upbeat and rather lively offering entitled ROCKABILY FEELING. Roll Down The Road is quite modern in sound and also quite heavy. It is not just the singing that is great; the music is outstanding and quite brilliant at times. This opening number will have your feet tapping in time with the beat in no time at all. It is catchy and quickly draws you in, making you long to hear more. Boppin’ Around The Town is a lively upbeat song with plenty of music mixed in with the vocals. Teenage Boogie has a great fifties sound. Charming and upbeat this is one of those songs that will make you want to get up and dance around the room. Listening to this album makes you long to see The Cellmates live. Pink Pedal Pushers has quite a modern sound but is still thoroughly rockabilly in style. Summer Of 69 is a cover of the classic rock/pop hit. The Cellmates turn this memorable hit into a rockabilly song with ease. It sounds amazing and really fresh and new like you are hearing the words for the first time. C’mon Everybody gets similar treatment. Already a classic rock ’n’ roll song The Cellmates just put their own stamp on it. Can’t Sleep At Night is stunning and rather charming. A slow song with delicate vocals. This is quite possibly the stand out song on the album and one you will want to hear over and over. Rockabilly Feeling is of course the title track. This is a traditional rockabilly song with plenty of energy and beat. Baby Don’t sees some great instrumental music blended with The Cellmates excellent vocals. Blue Moon Of Kentucky is another cover. Again done with style and finesse this song sounds fresh and vibrant. Speedy Race is an upbeat, quite heavy rock ‘n’ roll song. The album ends on a wonderful high note with Cellmate’s Rock. Once again this is an upbeat rockabilly number that will make you want to get up and take to the dance floor. This is an energy packed album that deserves several listens. 

All The Way To Heaven - Dahlia Wakefield - Single Review

Dahlia Wakefield’s new single ALL THE WAY TO HEAVEN is magnificent and perhaps Dahlia’s best vocal performance to date. Vocally strong and polished Dahlia delivers this song with plenty of emotion and passion. This song, along with Dahlia’s wonderful vocals effortlessly transcends the boundaries between pop and country. Suiting fans of both genres this song is beautiful, charming on the ear and pure class. With each offering from Dahlia she seems to grow in vocal ability and strength. If this is a taste of things to come fans of good vocally strong music are in for a real treat. With touches of Faith Hill in Dahlia’s vocals this song oozes with tenderness and confidence. One listen isn’t enough to get the full affect of this song, which soon lingers in the listener’s mind. Definitely a song that needs plenty of exposure. This could be the song that allows Dahlia to hit the big time in a big way!

Stephanie Layne - Stephanie Layne

Stephanie Layne
Stephanie Layne
Glory Layne Music  884501767781
Vocals to die for and top class country songs
Stephanie Layne is a singer/songwriter with lots of passion and power. Hailing from Minnesota Stephanie grew up on a ranch. Stephanie has a solid notion about what country music should be and that is projected throughout her music. Stephanie’s new EP was recorded at Nashville’s Blackbird Studios owned by none other than Martina and John McBride. Opening for artists such as Terri Clark and Sawyer Brown has helped Stephanie develop into a confident, strong female singer with plenty of back bone and charisma. This new EP is a mix of old and new, bluesy/rocky country and traditional country. There is something for everyone amongst the seven songs adorning this EP. Can’t Quit You is a rocky modern country song. Stephanie’s voice is defined and extremely powerful. The vocals are rather pleasing and a joy to listen to. What If I Do is a beautiful song with gentle vocals and a true country edge. This song has hit stamped all over it. Ain’t No Neighbors has touching lyrics that are so true to life. Many listeners will resonate with the words of this lovely country song. Hunker Down is a heavier country song with a bluesy/rocky feel. Stephanie’s vocals are really powerful and project well against the heavy backing music. Run Run Run is another glorious country song. Stephanie’s vocals are a little softer on this song, which has a catchy chorus. This song, again, has big hit written all over it. Finding Me is a more traditional country song. Stephanie’s vocals slip into a more relaxed mode on this excellent song. It would be great to hear someone like Vince Gill doing backing vocals on this track. The EP ends with a slow ballad that showcases Stephanie’s outstanding vocal skills. Someone Like Me is delicate and emotive. Stripped right back Stephanie’s vocals really get a chance to shine on this final offering. I like each and every one of the songs on this EP; they are all good in their own way and definitely deserve their place on this fantastic EP. Stephanie Layne has tons of potential and can only get better and better with time. She is already remarkably talented vocally and can effortlessly switch pace and style of music. Quite wonderful! 

Daniel Goodman - Cold Wind

Daniel Goodman
Cold Wind
Magic Sin Music B005MW4SB8
Astounding, fascinating and musically brilliant
Brooklyn born artist Daniel Goodman has with his new album COLD WIND created a wonderful collection of folk/rock songs intermingled with a touch of blues. Daniel’s vocals are the highlight of this album with their raw emotive style and sound. This is an album of thought provoking songs. A born storyteller, this album is all about carefully constructed lyrics that are blunt, descriptive and so relevant to today’s modern world. Upon listening to this album you can hear echo’s of Daniel’s folk influences throughout each and every song. When The Cold Wind Blows features Adam Levy on electric guitar. Unlike Daniel’s previous releases this album is heavy on instrumentation. Daniel vocals are however strong enough to stand out against the mix of electric and acoustic guitars, drums and percussion. This opening track gives a good indication of things to come. Daniels vocals are gritty and determined giving this song a definite rocky/folk feel. The Theater Of Optimism is a toe tapping song with a slight bluesy feel about it. Leah Sigel provides background vocals on this powerful song. Adam Levy pops up again on Pine Ridge playing the 12 string guitar. This is a slow song that focuses on Daniel’s vocals. Distinctive and charming Daniel’s vocals are captivating and quite atmospheric. The Dark Side Of Love is quite a catchy up-tempo song. Here Daniel’s vocals are a little softer. The Shadow Of The Sun has quite a long intro that leads into a song full of Daniel’s gritty vocals. The lyrics are anything but charming but that is half the appeal of Daniel’s music. Such A Fine Day has carefully crafted lyrics that read like a poem put to music. This song deserves a close listen, probably more than once to get its full affect. If you want grit and realism then look no further than this song. If Such A Fine Day is brilliant because of its astonishing lyrics then Fade From Yesterday is brilliant due to Daniel’s velvety vocals that enhance the chorus of this charming song. Slow and emotive this song is just perfect. Out of all the songs on this album this is the one that has a definite country feel. You will not want it to end! True Love’s Eyes takes on a heavier feel once more. Daniel’s vocals are pronounced and gritty. Once again the lyrics read like a wonderful poem. The Golden Road is a gentler song with Daniel’s vocals being turned down a notch or two at the start of the song becoming more distinct throughout the chorus. All too soon the album comes to a close with another lyrically strong offering The Lady & The Ship. The album ends as it began with Daniel’s gritty vocals taking centre stage. Produced by Anton Fier with additional production from Adam Levy this album is astounding. Not for the faint hearted this album is for lovers of strong poignant music and lyrics that don’t shy away from the brutality that fills our world today. 

Sobriquet - Familiar Strangers

Familiar Strangers
Self Released - 887516239540

Sobriquet are a new and rather talented duo from Portland, Oregon. Their style is somewhat unique – electronic dance music blended with exceptional vocals. Their songs are catchy, lyrically sound and rather captivating. FAMILIAR STRANGERS is the duo’s first release, featuring seven tracks this is an EP worth buying as you will be so enchanted you won’t be able to help listening to it over and over again. Jason Wann provides the production and music while Amy Paige provides lyrics and vocals. Neon Lies kicks the album off in fine style. This is an upbeat electronic dance track with plenty of pop thrown in for good measure. Amy’s vocals could easily be compared to those of Sarah Cracknell the extremely talented lead singer from the English band Saint Etienne. There is plenty of energy in this opening track. Really high quality music, this is a wonderful song to get the EP started. Summer follows on in a similar fashion. More excellent vocals provided by Amy and great electronic dance music provided by Jason. With hints of many eighties bands within the music this song is a real treat to listen to. The vocals are fresh and cheery, never over shadowed by the music. Make Yr Choices is a catchy dance track. Amy’s vocals are beautiful and uplifting giving the song quality and emotion. Breakdown Proper is a brilliant dance/pop song with a touch of Kylie Minogue mixed with Scissor Sisters. This would make an excellent single as the vocals are so infectious and linger on long after the song has ended. Definitely one of the stand out tracks on this EP. When The Night Is Over is one of those songs you want to play on a hot summer’s night when the air is humid and all you wanna do is dance. This is quite a strong song heavy on the vocals with the dance music taking a bit of a back seat. It is still prominent enough though to make this a wonderful dance track. Amy’s vocals are exquisite throughout this track and all of the other tracks on the EP that she features. Love Is A Sin is a brilliant song and perhaps the best offering on this debut EP. Amy’s vocals certainly bring this song to life and make it what it is. All These Years (Theme) is an outstanding piece of electronic music, which brings to mind OMD with perhaps a bit of Depeche Mode mixed in for good measure. This EP is really fantastic. It has everything you could want – exceptional music and tantalizing vocals that make you yearn to hear more. If you like good quality dance music then look no further. 

David Newbould - Tennessee

David Newbould
David Newbould Music DNM006
A heady mix of country rock with outstanding vocals of the highest nature
David Newbould is a highly talented singer/songwriter who is just waiting to burst into the major league, something he may just achieve with his new album Tennessee. Strong vocals and cleverly put together songs make David’s new album a pleasure to listen to. Already, to his credit, David’s music has appeared on a number of popular television shows including Criminal Minds, Party of Five and Dawson’s Creek. Tennessee was produced by Ben Strano and has taken over a year to make. Featuring the likes of up and coming country star Rose Falcon this new offering was recorded in two parts and comes with two bonus tracks released only via the internet. The album starts off with Always Coming Home, which showcases David’s vocals wonderfully. David has a distinctive sound, which mixes country with pop/rock. Upbeat and rather delightful this opening song sees David joined on vocals by the country singer Rose Falcon. Don’t Give Me Your Heart sees David’s vocals slip into a harsher mode. If you like Bruce Springsteen and/or John Mellencamp then you are in for a treat. Again quite an upbeat song it is easy to see why David’s songs have been used on so many successful television shows. His vocals have depth and real character. Live For Love is another strong offering. A mix of rock and country makes this song quite powerful. Drifting Wayward has a distinct country feel about it. David’s vocals have a lighter feel and really suit a slow country song. You’re With Me is a high octane fast paced country/rock song. A lovely duet this song features Kalisa Ewing on vocals. Listening to this song is like listening to a slice of Steve and Stacey Earle. Kalisa’s vocals are edgy and offer something special to this song. Down For Your Love is a slower, raw country song that pushes David’s vocals to the forefront. Once again Kalisa Ewing joins David on vocals. Lucinda is another rocky country song. It Can Always Be Worse is a really dramatic song with powerful lyrics. A really punchy song that deserves plenty of volume to be enjoyed fully! Caitlin Nicol-Thomas adds extra depth to this song with the violin. Trying To Find The Good In Seeing Things is another outstanding sound in the style of Jackson C Frank or Bob Dylan. It is worth buying this album just for this song alone. Don’t Give Up On Love sees the mood and tempo pick up pace once again. Another rocky country song with plenty of potential. The Things We’ve Done slips back into raw delicate vocal mode. David has such an awesome vocal range and style as evidenced by the songs on this album. She’s Got A Different Way ends the album off in fine style. Another country infused rocky/pop song David’s vocals are once again the highlight. An outstanding song that leaves you wanting to hear more, much more.