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ALBUM Review: 'Salt' -Michael Baker

Anglo-French troubadour Michael Baker has released his labour of love album 'Salt'.

Image result for michael baker salt album


'Baby Books', taken from the album, is a song about a friend of Michael's who took his own life. I reviewed the single here. 'Claire' is a gentle, lullaby of a track, and is Baker's personal favourite song from the album. 'One God Damn' is a celebratory, feel good track. 

'Salt' is an album filled with acoustic guitars and Baker's effortless, soothing vocals. It also contains positive messages in a delicate and intimate way. A lot of this record is introspective which brings about a certain sadness. 










SINGLE Review: 'Halfway'- James Blunt (ft. Ward Thomas)

Following a hugely successful UK headline tour, James Blunt has collaborated with country-pop duo Ward Thomas for his latest single. There is a solo version on his latest album 'Once Upon A Mind' too. 

James' vocals sound great with Ward Thomas' harmonies. The song works really well as a duet.

Directed by Dan Massie (Ed Sheeran, Paul Weller, Rudimental), the video for ‘Halfway’ features fantastic line dance choreography from Peter Flockhart and The Cactus Club to James and Ward Thomas’ effortless harmonies. Peter, who has been teaching line dancing since 1993, set up The Cactus Club, an LGBT line dancing social club in Clapham alongside fellow line dance enthusiasts Anne and Michael.

SINGLE Review: 'Do Right'-Cassia

Indie trio Cassia have released their latest single 'Do Right'. The band released their debut album 'Replica' last year and have recently been on tour too. This is their first release since the release of 'Replica'. I spoke to them previously and you can read the interview here.




'Do Right' is a chilled out, laid back single with a good message. The band have kept the tropical sound that they are known for, however it seems that their sound has evolved as we enter a new era. It's quite an optimistic song despite not being quite as upbeat and joyous as their previous singles.

Cassia have Afrobeat influences, such as Vampire Weekend, and you can hear that in this single too.

‘Do Right’ was written in Cape Town, South Africa, where Rob used the landscape and culture to help shape the sound. He then met his bandmates Lou and Jacob in Berlin, where they now live, writing regularly in their new studio ‘Casa de Cassia.’











NEWS: Tors Scala Show

Tors will be playing Scala on 13th March (this Friday). There's only a few tickets left so be quick!

TORS

Tors create thistle-thick textures and stylistic indie-folk songwriting akin to The Mystery Jets. They’re named after a collection of different rock formations in Devon, where Matt and Theo Weedon (two thirds of Tors) hail from. The brothers, who started the band together, are grandsons of the late Bert Weedon, a famous guitarist during the 50s and 60s, and writer of Play In A Day; a book which has been credited by Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney, John Lennon (to name a few), for their guitar abilities.

Tickets available from https://scala.co.uk/events/tors/


NEWS: The Sherlocks Announce Manchester Show

THE SHERLOCKS ANNOUNCE HEADLINE SHOW AT MANCHESTER’S ALBERT HALL FOR NOVEMBER 14TH
ALBUM ‘UNDER YOUR SKY’ IS OUT NOW

THE GUARDIAN
"Kiaran Crook is becoming a poetic lyricist...Foremost, the 11 highly anthemic songs all have arena-sized choruses, which deserve to be widely heard and loudly sung."
DAILY STAR
“Ambitious and powerful, the sky’s the limit with these ballsy tunes.”

“40 minutes of anthemic indie-pop bangers. The Sherlocks have taken their sound to the next level. ...it's nothing short of brilliant." DORK

“Anthemic…The Sherlocks are destined for stadiums.” LOUDER THAN WAR

 

The Sherlocks have today announced a headline show at the prestigious Manchester Albert Hall this November 14thThe pre-sale for tickets goes live this March 11th at 9am with general on-sale to follow on March 13thhttp://gigst.rs/Sherlocks

Second album ‘Under Your Sky’ is out now on Infectious Music and received some excellent critical reviews and charted at #20 in the Official UK Charts. Single ‘NYC (Sing It Loud)’ also charted on the same date at #1 in the Official Vinyl Charts. The Sherlocks played numerous festivals last year including the coveted secret sets at Reading & Leeds Festivals and also headlined Neighbourhood festival in Manchester alongside Miles Kane. They’ve just completed their UK headline tour this February & March 2020.

With their 2017 debut album ‘Live For The Moment’Sheffield quartet The Sherlocks established themselves as key contenders in a new wave of British bands keeping alt-rock and indie vital for a new generation of fans. The album fired into the charts at #6 as the band inspired devotion wherever they went, from shows with Liam Gallagher, an international array of festival dates to rapturously received shows in Japan.

While ‘Live For The Moment’ remains a scintillating insight into the hedonism and heartbreak of youth, ‘Under Your Sky’ finds frontman Kiaran Crook writing songs which bridge the exuberance of youth with the reflection and maturity of young adulthood.

That approach - worldly songs with one eye cast homeward - is perfectly demonstrated in the album’s lead single ‘NYC (Sing It Loud)’, which received its exclusive first play courtesy of Annie Mac at Radio 1“I wanna see the world with you,” Kiaran sings, imagining “getting lost in the city for a day” with someone left behind.

“It was the first proper American tour we’d done and I was blown away by the place,” he explains. “The other side was wishing certain people could be there to see it with me. When you know people are at home and you’re having such a good time, you think, ‘If you could see what I’m seeing.’ Even though I’m in New York, I’m still thinking about people at home who I wish could see New York who have never been and may never go.”

The songs are largely born from experiences, often specific to Kiaran in circumstance but largely universal in emotion. The driving ‘I Want It All’ reminisces over a gloriously stormy festival weekend in Wales, along with other memorable moments Kiaran has spent with a special someone. Then the Springsteen-tinged ‘Time To Go’ celebrates the more casual romantic encounter.

Whether despairing over the ambitions lost to people doing McJobs on ‘Dreams’ or dissecting the various stages of relationships on ‘Waiting’ or in the album’s heartbroken, epic finale and title track, Kiaran also found inspiration from the stories and circumstances of people in his hometown. Naturally it’s a collection that leans towards the melancholy, but vitally there’s hope for better times ahead too.

This time around, The Sherlocks - completed by Kiaran’s brother Brandon (drums) and the Davidson siblings Josh (guitar) and Andy (bass) - opted for a more structured recording process that they had with their debut. They spent four weeks working Monday to Friday at Liverpool’s Parr Street Studios, with The Coral’s James Skelly on production duties.

The result is tighter, brighter and ultra-modern, benefiting from Skelly’s knack for focusing on a killer chorus and smattered with stylistic swerves into new wave, ‘80s textures and all-out feedback. It’s as much The Killers or The Cars as it is Catfish - a real 21st century rock record with stadiums in its sights.

“The first album was us four in a room,” Kiaran summarises. “We wanted to make it really raw like the Arctic Monkeys’ first album or Kings Of Leon’s. We wanted to capture the live sound and polish it up a bit. With this one we’ve taken it a step further and made it slightly smoother and put more keyboards in. Rather than having the guitars thrashing all the time we’ve tried being a bit sweeter with it. It sounds more contemporary, I can hear it on Radio 1.”

Now available from https://TheSherlocks.lnk.to/UnderYourSkyPR‘Under Your Sky’ can be purchased on digital, streaming, CD, vinyl and cassette formats, plus a limited edition galaxy blue vinyl with alternative artwork.

The ‘Under Your Sky’ tracklisting is:

  1. ‘I Want It All’
  2. ‘NYC (Sing It Loud)’
  3. ‘Waiting’
  4. ‘Magic Man’
  5. ‘Dreams’
  6. ‘Time To Go’
  7. ‘Give It All Up’
  8. ‘One Day’
  9. ‘Now & Then’
  10. ‘Step Inside’
  11. ‘Under Your Sky’