Saturday, 19 December 2015

Saint Sister | Madrid EP

Irish folk pop duo Saint Sister released their debut EP Madrid last month on Trout Records. They have only been together since 2014 and they have already made numerous television performances in Ireland and have supported Arcade Fire's Will Butler. 
Band members Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre recorded Madrid in County Kerry's Noise studio and was recorded by Alex Ryan of Hozier. Their 'atmosfolk' sound is beautifully ethereal. They use synths, complex, echoing vocal harmonies and an electo-acoustic harp to keep the traditional Celtic sound within their music. Their vocal harmonies on Blood Moon remind me a lot of First Aid Kit. They have successfully fused electronica with traditional Celtic music, together this creates a mystical and mesmerising sound.
Track Listing 

1 - Madrid
2 - Castles
3 - Blood Moon
4 - Versions Of Hate
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Sunday, 13 December 2015

Liverpool named UNESCO city of music

My beloved home of Liverpool has this week been named city of music by UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation). It is only the second UK city to receive the honour after Glasgow. 

Liverpool received the title due to the place music has within Liverpool’s “contemporary culture, education and the economy”.

There is no end to Liverpool's variety of music events, artists and venues. 

Here are just 5 of my favourite things about music in Liverpool - 

1. LIMF has become Europe's largest FREE music festival, and it's popularity is continuing to grow.

2. Liverpool Sound City festival has become HUGE since it's humble beginnings in 2008.

3. Africa Oye festival is the UKs largest celebration of African and Caribbean music

4. The amount of new talent that comes out of Liverpool and is harvested in Liverpool thanks to our amazing education facilities including LIPA, Liverpool Media Academy and Liverpool Community College. 

5. The amazing venues - The Kazimer, Shipping Forecast, The Arts Club, Philharmonic Hall and Zanzibar to name a few. 

I feel so proud and privileged to be from this place.

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Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Lissie Acoustic Tour | Manchester Academy | 5th December

I had the pleasure of seeing Lissie for the third time on Saturday. Storm Desmond delayed her stage time by two hours, the poor woman had 10 hours of travelling down from Edinburgh by train, after numerous train changes and delays, she got off the train at Manchester Piccadilly, got in a cab and walked straight onto stage. No soundcheck or time to catch her breath, and she was phenomenal.  
Lissie has recently gone independent with her music, she has her own label and she is her own boss. You get the feeling that she is much more relaxed than before, she is playing and writing exactly what she wants and doing exactly what she wants. 
After her day from hell travelling, she was just the second song in Further away (Romance Police) when her guitar amplification just stopped for some reason (the problems you have when you can't sound check!) but ever so professionally, Lissie carried on. She took her guitar off and carried on singing acapella with the whole crowd clapping and singing along. 
Lissie treated us to a few songs from her new album My Wild West (out February 2016), including a great feminist anthem Daughters. After she played her latest single Don't You Give Up On Me, Lissie started taking requests from the audience. She played many much loved tracks from her previous two albums, the amount of requests that were shouted out showed just how much people love her music.
Playing acoustically showcased her incredible vocal range. She has such a strong voice, Patti Smith esque with a hint of Stevie Nicks.
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Sunday, 6 December 2015

Blog Sound Of 2016 | Longlist

The aim of the Blog Sound of poll is identical to the BBC Sound Of list; it attempts to showcase new and emerging artists, but it differs in so far as many of the voting bloggers do not work in the music industry, they are simply fans who have a passion for writing about the music they love.

The full longlist is:

AQUILO - Calm sounding electronic pop duo from Silverdale, Lancashire.

AURORA - Norwegian singer who covered Oasis for the John Lewis Christmas advert.

BILLIE MARTEN - Yorkshire based acoustic singer songwriter.

GEORGE COSBY - London based singer songwriter with a deep voice and brooding songs.

HAELOS - A band who describe their music as dark euphoria

LISS - Four piece from Aarhus, Denmark who make slick sounding pop.

LOYLE CARNER - A spoken word artist with his own unique confessional style.

MABEL - The daughter of Neneh Cherry who is producing her own brand of soulful pop

MURA MASA - An electronic producer and multi-instrumetalist originally from Guernsey 

MT WOLF - A reformed band who also featured on the Blog Sound of 2014 longlist.

NAO - Solo singer who mixes funk, soul and electronic sounds in her work.

PLEASURE BEACH - Indie rockers from Northern Ireland

THE BIG MOON - London based four piece alt rock / indie band 

THE JAPANESE HOUSE - Amber Bain's solo project of electronic ambient songs

YAK - Energetic rock group with elements of punk, garage indie and psychedelic blues

The most voted for and top 5 acts on this longlist will be revealed on the 5th January 2016 

Sadly my three votes didn't make it into the long list, but I definitely have high hopes for Billie Marten and Aurora

Listen to the longlist here on this playlist - 
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