Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Essex born-and-bred beauty Gemma Ray is a singer-songwriter with a difference: her songs beguile you in the same way classic melodies do, yet somehow defy comparison. The heart-on-sleeve craftswomanship of her tunes allows full rein to roller-coasting intensity and twisted humour as she wraps her velvety vocals around little gems of pop, country, blues and gospel-inflected beauty. Such is the breathtaking scope of this album that its epic multi-layered sound has, you assume, the dedicated workforce of a full blown orchestra behind it, yet this beguiling mix of pop, country and blues is the work of Gemma Ray at home with co-producer Michael J Sheehy. Gemma’s first album, ‘The Leader’, though critically acclaimed, was fraught with setbacks. Recorded against a backdrop of illness, tours were cancelled and for the sake of her sanity the only way to abate the frustration was to keep recording and writing at home in London. Despite the circumstances, the darkness of her songwriting is seamlessly interlaced with humour, playfulness and beauty throughout. Make no mistake, doubters and stragglers will be converted and convinced by the kick-ass live show in which Gemma (now back on track and in good health) and her band take the songs to an even heightened level of hypnotism and drama. Recent shows saw audiences captivated by Gemma and her band, not least when she plays slide guitar not with a slide, but with a very intimidating ‘Psycho’-style knife. The album is preceded by the single 100 mph (in 2nd Gear) released on September 7th, and backed with 900 Miles, the Odetta cover that was used as the soundtrack to the BBC psycho-flick Mum & Dad.
Monday, October 12, 2009
Emilie Lund from Stockholm, Sweden. Emilie is a young and talented singer/songwriter who is inspired by musicians like Nick Drake and Coco Rosie. Listening to music of others is by far not her only inspiration: Studying theatre at daytime and taking long walks through the nightly streets of Stockholm is part of her musical recipe. But the most important ingredient for her music is a remote area, far away from the city, somewhere in the Swedish countryside. The woods around that area can be seen as one of her main sources of inspiration. She spent half of her life in a house, practically in the forest – where she used to live with her parents. Whenever she gets there, creative things happen. She doesn’t need much to sound as wonderful as she does: “I like to make music with simple tools, whatever I can find in the house, my voice and my guitar.” Emilie sees beauty in simplicity. Things, just like music, have to have a soul, she says. “The music has to come from somewhere, a feeling that you just need to express. I love simplicity and intimacy and I try not to think too much about the sound.” After Emilie recorded a handful of songs in 2007, we stumbled upon her via Myspace. We immediately fell on love with her music and asked her whether she would like to release an EP with us. We can’t tell you how glad we are she agreed. The 5 tracks of the Emilie Lund EP can be downloaded for FREE – you are also free to copy and redistribute the songs for non-commercial purposes.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
After having heard him sing on several songs of other singer-songwriters I like (e.g. earlier featured Lindsey Ray and Mozella) Tim really caught my eye, and I was pleasantly surprised to discover that he has been releasing his own material as well. Music has been the driving force for Tim from a very young age. Being compelled by piano at age five, guitar and bass were introduced to him shortly after. At eighteen, he joined the Platinum selling band OneRepublic. Myers entered the studio with the group, writing and performing on their debut record, “Dreaming Out Loud”, prior to leaving the band a few years later to embark on his solo career. Myers’ soon-to-be-launched debut solo album will have its pick from over one hundred tracks, which he has compiled in the last year. Recently, iTunes release of Myers’ “The Good Life EP” was highly successful in presenting his carefree tunes, “A Beautiful World” and “The Good Life”. A true songwriter and visionary, Tim Myers does more than write ‘good’ songs. He creates synergy between him and the listener by evoking intimately warm, fresh and cheerful emotions. He finds influence in music's greatest songwriters; John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Bob Dylan. By also seeking inspiration from The Beatles' catchy melodic rhythm and lyrics, a touch of The Beach Boys-esque harmonies, while infusing his own modern twist, Myers has introduced a unique style of songwriting to the world. A writer and poet, Myers also often finds inspiration from America’s most prominent authors and poets like Charles Bukowski, T.S. Elliot, C.S. Lewis, George Orwell, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Aside from working on his own music, he continues to produce, write and collaborate with several other noted artists such as Tyrone Wells (Universal/Republic), Lindsey Ray (Original Signal/Epic), Days Difference (Universal/Motown), Mozella (Universal/Motown), Mitchel Musso (Disney), Social Code (Universal/Canada), Schuyler Fisk (Independent) among many others. With his notable success and consistent yet unique songwriting, Tim Myers will continue to make a strong impact as an artist in the constantly evolving music industry.
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