Album Review: Gabriel Birnbaum – Not Alone

Gabriel Birnbaum, the talented saxophonist, composer and arranger, has described his new album, Not Alone, as a ‘great autumn record.’ He isn’t wrong. It has a comforting quality to it, and it isn’t full of tropical summer pop earworms either. Although you could describe Not Alone as laidback, it is, to Birnbaum, a piece of…

Album Review: Twelfth Day – Face to Face

Twelfth Day have updated folk for 2019. Traditional Celtic elements are intermingled with unconventional musical techniques, exploration of pertinent issues and a completely unique sound. Nothing has been left behind on the two-piece’s latest release: vocals, instrumentation and lyrics could all stand alone in their own right. This is what defines the success of the…

Review: Benjamin Lazar Davis – Nothing Matters

Rolling in with an immediate 1960s psychedelia vibe, replete with flute pads and affected vocals, Benjamin Lazar Davis’ latest release Nothing Matters seems at first to belie its bleak title. Opening song ‘A Love Song Seven Ways’ is a laid back and sunny track, hooks floating by like scenic clouds in an otherwise clear blue…

Review: Anna Coogan – The Lonely Cry of Space and Time

Guitarist, composer, producer and singer; Anna Coogan exudes a multiplicity of musical talents. Having studied opera singing in Mozarteum University of Salzburg, Coogan brings the opera into the modern day, merging this authentic traditional sound with new age genres of indie, rock, Americana, country, folk, and more experimental tones. Brought up on the protest songs…

Review: A Dead Forest Index – All That Drifts from Summit Down

Using only a very minimal palette of sounds, brothers Adam and Sam Sherry – who make up the entirety of A Dead Forest Index – manage to create a vast, perfectly orchestrated expanse of sound. Employing mostly only simple motifs on guitar, piano and drums, with Adam’s androgynous voice laid gently over the top, much…

Review: Driving Mrs. Satan – Did You Mrs. Me?

In the world of heavy metal, the parodying and covering of songs in inappropriate musical styles is surprisingly common. All over the internet, fans of this traditionally stoic and closed-minded genre have gleefully mixed the most extreme and bleak tracks with pop, big band jazz or electronic music. From Richard Cheese to Andy Rehfeldt; from…

Review From the Archive: John Wheeler – Un-American Gothic

This album is the first full-length solo effort from Hayseed Dixie frontman John Wheeler – and it certainly manages to keep up with the legacy of offbeat, folky tunes. Written whilst on tour with the band in 2011, Wheeler travelled to every show in solitude on his motorbike, making for a soulful and varied album….

Review: Crystal Bright and the Silver Hands – The Absolute Elsewhere

Truly multicultural music can be hard to find and perhaps even harder to create in a genuine and worthwhile way. However, when you have had experience in Mariachi, Gamelan, Chinese, Samba and Ugandan musical ensembles (to name a few), and have travelled the world accumilating an appreciation for a myriad of international heritages, as Crystal…

Review: Jenny Lysander – Northern Folk

Accurately reflecting place through music is no mean feat, but 21-year-old Scandinavian folk artist Jenny Lysander has perfected it. Her debut album Northern Folk, released on April 27th, manages to paint exquisite pictures of Nordic scenery in twelve concise tracks. Seeming lyrically and vocally far beyond her twenty one years, the Swedish folk artist has…

Tom Waits- Transformer

Primal beats, the voice of the devil- to late night Jazz, scat and back again. Tom Waits- transformer. There never will be, and never has been, something as radically diverse as Tom Wait’s back catalogue. The man began his career playing late night country-folk-jazz, now he screams down the microphone with stone cold primal beats…

Willy Mason- Singer/Songwriter, Storyteller, Folk Reviver

No one really understands why it is that Willy Mason hasn’t achieved greater success; having released three albums in the last ten years to modest critical acclaim, it seems strange that he hasn’t shaken the “under the radar” status. This is made even stranger when you do discover his music: each track tinged with his…