In creating this second album Yola aimed to write classic pop songs that crossed genre, time, spaces, continents and palettes. Her excellent last album was mainly written collaboratively in the studio with producer Dan Auerbach bringing in different musicians to write with, a strategy which brought her much success in the Americana music world. Due to to the pandemic Stand For Myself began in isolation, allowing for Yola to write from a more personal perspective. Continue reading “Album Review: Yola – Stand For Myself”
Founding member of the Supremes Mary Wilson has sadly died at the age of 76, leaving behind a lasting legacy in Motown and music history. While the famous story of the band’s unravelling pits Diana Ross against Florence Ballard, the narrative that is often overlooked is how Mary survived as a Supreme through the whole ordeal, continuing the band after Ballard was dismissed and Ross went stratospherically solo. Mary’s story is one of quiet endurance and commitment to performance and style – beautifully told in her recent book ‘Supreme Glamour’. Continue reading “Remembering Mary Wilson and her ‘Supreme Glamour’”
After taking a longer than planned break Lianne La Havas returns with a self titled record that quietly reasserts her musical identity. On the cover she may be hiding behind her hair but the smile on her face suggests a relaxed and open artist who has made it through some difficult times and is now comfortable with who she is. Continue reading “Album Review: Lianne La Havas – Lianne La Havas”
During my period of working from home in the last week there has been one blessing: even more time to immerse myself in new music. One artist who I found a particularly comfort to get me through my email hell was the lovely Sunny Ozell and her gorgeous new album Overnight Lows. Continue reading “Album Review: Sunny Ozell – Overnight Lows”
‘Why won’t you listen?’ asks Kyshona Armstrong on the title track of her powerful new album. She asks everyone the question, sounding weary at how society is to deaf to the needs of others. The album’s purpose was inspired partly by her background as a music therapist working with vulnerable people. Musically her mix of gospel, blues, soul and folk (let’s just call it Americana) fits perfectly with her message of inclusivity, empathy and acceptance. Continue reading “Album Review: Kyshona – Listen”
In the winter months my musical preferences veer heavily towards the quiet and introspective. Living in Scotland means I have to spend a lot of time indoors due to the weather so I often search out soothing albums that can soundtrack lazy afternoons of reading or writing like the recent releases from Bonny Light Horseman and Isobel Campbell, for example.
At the end of last year I had listened to some preview tracks from this new Tami Neilson album and really enjoyed them but as time for release date came my mood didn’t really match up to returning to such a style of music. Blame my hesitancy on seasonal affective disorder, rather than anything to do with the artist themselves.
Yesterday I looked outside and finally there she was, the dear old sun and even a blue sky. Okay so it was still fucking freezing but I decided this was the opportunity to blow the cobwebs off and take CHICKABOOM! outside with me for a walk. Continue reading “Album Review: Tami Neilson – CHICKABOOM!”
Legend had it that when Carole King heard her newly hired babysitter Eva Narcissus Boyd sing she yelled, ‘Stop! We must record that voice!’. Another story often told is that Eva’s dancing around her living room inspired the lyrics to The Locomotion. Truthfully, King and her husband Gerry Goffin knew exactly how good a singer Eva was when they hired her as a babysitter, since she had been singing on demos and working with their girl group the Cookies. Continue reading “The Little Eva Who Could”
For Mavis Staples’s 80th birthday the great and the good from across the musical spectrum came together in three concerts that celebrated the legacy of an artist who has been bringing light to the world for decades and shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. As a force for harmony and unity there are few who can touch her. She’s skateboarding her way into the twilight of her career with more confidence than ever. Continue reading “Album Review: Mavis Staples – We Get By”
Lady Nade is currently on tour with fellow Bristolian Yola, impressing audiences with her evocative voice and mix of soul, jazz and folk. On her new album Safe Place she has blended these influences to produce an inviting and optimistic collection of songs. Continue reading “Album Review: Lady Nade – Safe Place”