REVIEW – Liam Coleman – Upside

Liam Coleman - Upside

Liam Coleman has announced the release of Upside on 18th September 2020.  Upside is the first of four singles that comprise Coleman’s Nashville-recorded second EP.

 

As soon as Upside opens with a crisp, reverb-heavy guitar, I know Liam Coleman is going to be one to watch.  When the vocal kicks in, it’s hard to believe he’s only seventeen. His voice and lyrical delivery are mature and confident, and his writing even more so. The production of this track is phenomenal – recorded with Ken Royster at Direct Image Studio in Nashville (responsible for Luke Combs’ Hurricane), everything about this debut single is slick and polished with the self-assurance of an experienced, worldly performer.

 

UPSIDE, co-written with Seattle-based Abigail Neilson, is out on 18th September and is available for pre-save here.  You can follow Liam on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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REVIEW – Elora Taylor – What I’d Do

Elora Taylor - Didn't You Know

Canadian singer-songwriter Elora Taylor is back with another hit following a moving tribute to her late mother earlier in the year.

 

Released at the end of August, What I’d Do is pop-infused and upbeat, produced with layered harmonies and gorgeous, intricate guitar tracks.  Taylor’s delicate, beautifully-articulated vocal style lends itself well to the bright production. It’s bold but airy, striking a seemingly impossible balance that firmly entrenches Elora Taylor as one of the most exciting songwriters in the music scene. Of the track, Taylor notes it was recorded in her home studio during quarantine, and that it’s the perfect song for right now – ‘being there’ for someone is something we could all use a little more of.

 

Elora Taylor is a country music singer/songwriter from Toronto ON. She formed the all-girl rock band Tallulah Darling after an injury ended her competitive figure skating career. After playing a number of notable venues and festivals in Toronto and showcasing for Sony Records in NYC, the band split and Taylor focused a country music solo career. What I’d Do was recorded at home during a period of quarantine, and released in August 2020.

 

Listen to WHAT I’D DO on Spotify. You can follow Elora on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, or visit her website.

 

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REVIEW – Laura Beckwith – Halfway

Laura Beckwith - Halfway

UK-based singer-songwriter Laura Beckwith has announced the release of her debut country single on 25th September.  Drawn to music from a young age, she learned piano after starting theatre school and has been a mainstay of the live music scene at venues across London, Essex and Hampshire.

 

Whilst Laura’s first single exhibited a modern pop production, Halfway is very much a country song.  With delicate, angelic vocals and natural flair for storytelling, Halfway has already been picked up by UK country radio and looks set to catapult Beckwith to country stardom.

 

Halfway came after an extremely heated argument that went on for hours. All I wanted was for it to be resolved and somehow forget that it ever happened. Sometimes compromises have to be made in order for you to move on.”

 

The production on Halfway is slick and polished to perfection. This is a soundscape worthy of chart-topping success.

 

HALFWAY is released on 25th September 2020. Pre-order via the iTunes Store & pre-save on Spotify here. You can follow Laura on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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REVIEW – Emily Lockett – Front Porch

Emily Lockett - Front Porch

UK singer-songwriter Emily Lockett has announced the release of country-pop single Front Porch on 18th September. The track will be available digitally, although a physical EP featuring the song is expected later in the year.

 

Front Porch is an upbeat country-pop/rock song recounting a break-up, and asking whether each party could’ve done more to save the relationship. This song is an island in the sea of break up songs. It’s neither a revenge anthem nor a ballad of heartbreak, and Lockett’s powerful vocal is both youthful and emotive. The driving guitars move the song along, turning what could be a self-pitying wallow-fest into something intensely, toe-tappingly catchy.

 

Front Porch was co-produced by Tim Prottey-Jones (Wandering Hearts, The Fatherline) and Matt Bishop (Honey Ryder), who both worked remotely with Lockett through the recent lockdown period.

 

You can pre-save FRONT PORCH here ahead of its release on 18th September.  You can follow Emily on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram, or visit her website.

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REVIEW – The Rising – Better Than This

The Rising - Better Than This

 

Northern Irish pop/rock duo The Rising return with their new single Better Than This. A continuation of their monthly single release strategy, Better Than This was recorded during lockdown in the band’s own recording studio (Renegade Studios) and remotely in Nashville, with drummer Chris Brush.

 

Better Than This is an upbeat and uplifting story with the reminder that no matter how hard things seem, they can always get better. The two central characters – a struggling artist playing dive bars, and a businessman who squandered his money trying to keep up with the Joneses – are forced to take stock and rebuild. Their paths cross as they realise that things will get better.  It’s a fresh blend of pop-rock and country, with a powerful female vocal front and centre.

 

This song is a prime example of The Rising’s love and propensity for character storytelling, with a semi-autobiographical story woven throughout. In a world where musicians’ incomes have been stripped away by the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns, the struggle seems particularly topical right now – but as the duo sings, it’s gotta get better than this.

 

The duo has toured extensively across the UK, Ireland and Europe, building a healthy fanbase and culminating in a performance at the o2’s Country 2 Country festival.  Their music has been supported by several BBC stations, Country Hits Radio and Maverick magazine, and their second album was recently released to critical acclaim.

 

BETTER THAN THIS will be released on 11th September and is available to pre-save here. You can catch up with The Rising on their weekly live stream on Monday nights on their Facebook page. You can also follow on Instagram and Twitter, or visit their website.

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REVIEW – Sarah J – Magnificent

Sarah J - Magnificent

UK singer-songwriter Sarah J will release her debut single, Magnificent, on 18th September.  Liverpool born and bred, 20-year-old Sarah has performed nationwide at festivals and entertained over 30,000 viewers worldwide with her live-stream shows throughout the recent lockdown period.

 

Magnificent opens with a fairytale piano, soon followed by an angelic voice and swoon-worthy harmonies. This is a song full of depth – it swells and builds to a lovely string crescendo. This is an absolutely stunning debut from Sarah J. It truly is magnificent, and she explains the story behind it.

 

‘I wrote this song during a stressful time in life. It’s a song all about my own little fairy tale. I wrote the song myself and I also decided I was going to record and produce it. The whole song is written and produced from the heart and that’s what makes it so special to me.’

 

Magnificent is the first single from the forthcoming ‘Wonder E.P’, due early 2021. Pre-save the single here. You can follow Sarah on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter, and also subscribe to her Youtube channel.

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REVIEW – Kerri Watt – Chapter One (EP)

Kerri Watt - Chapter One

Scottish singer-songwriter Kerri Watt has announced a country-themed EP to be released on 14th September 2020.  The three-track collection is the first of a series of EPs which were originally planned as a full album release.

 

The first song on Chapter One is Jessie – a charming, upbeat bop featuring powerful percussion, summery guitars and Watt’s native Scottish accent at the forefront of her lyrical delivery.  It’s a song that feels like a good time, with all the best parts of country music blended into three and a half minutes.  It’s also one of the first songs written by Watt, inspired by the musical of Jekyll and Hyde.

 

Song number two is a cover with a country twist.  Let’s Stay Home (originally by NEEDTOBREATHE) has been effortlessly transformed from a synth-driven atmospheric anthem to a gentle guitar-led tribute to a lover. It’s evocative and mellow, a perfect night in.

 

The third and final track is Can’t Catch Me – an upbeat, contemporary rock-country anthem with a speedy percussive beat – if this EP is anything to go by, this is a lovely signature in Watt’s music and coupled with her unique lyrical delivery, sets her apart from her peers in the best way.

 

This EP is a stunning themed collection from Kerri Watt.  Choosing to divide her upcoming album into a series of themed EPs wasn’t an easy decision, but it looks to be paying off as these three country-style songs push Watt in front of new audiences.

 

CHAPTER ONE is set to be released on 14th September.  You can follow Kerri on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram.

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REVIEW – Phillipa Cookman – Tell Me

Phillipa Cookman - Cookman album artwork

 

Hot on the heels of her #1 debut Greasy Mabel, Phillipa Cookman is back – and things have taken a turn! Tell Me is her upcoming new single, released on 11th September. The song opens with a jazz-inspired piano and organ harmony, tied together with Cookman’s sultry vocal. The guitar adds an extra layer  – the entire track sounds like it should play out in a smoky bar. It’s a very mature sound, but with this and Greasy Mabel as the first two singles, I can’t wait to hear the entire album!

 

Pre-save TELL ME here. You can follow Phillipa on FacebookInstagram & Twitter, or visit her website.

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REVIEW – Luna Wood – Home Again

Luna Wood - Home Again

 

Home Again is the debut single from Birmingham (UK)-based singer-songwriter Luna Wood.  The lead single from an EP released on 28th August, Home Again showcases Wood’s gorgeous range and her talent for writing melodies.

 

Home Again is a heartfelt tribute to a place of peace. The song opens with a lightly picked acoustic guitar and Wood’s lyrical vocal.  The ethereal quality of Wood’s voice is on display here. Percussion and more instruments build to the chorus and beyond, as Wood’s vocal takes on a stunning Cranberries-esque style.

 

 

HOME AGAIN is available to download and stream now. You can follow Luna on Facebook & Instagram.

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REVIEW – The Weeping Willows – Wheels Won’t Roll

The Weeping Willows - Wheels Won't Roll

 

Melbourne Alt-Country duo The Weeping Willows offer up a balm for troubled times with their glorious new single Wheels Won’t Roll. The Weeping Willows – known separately as Laura and Andy – are a pair of old souls with a folk-storytelling prowess.

 

Wheels Won’t Roll is a beautifully classic folk-country song.  It’s full of rich vocal harmonies and intricate fingerpicked guitar.  The song is ‘a reflection on the inertia and malaise that plagues us all sometimes’ – and it’s a captivating taste of what’s to come in this duo’s forthcoming album.  It’s warm, sympathetic and uplifting; proof that music is the most potent kind of medicine. This is a triumphant celebration of their timeless Americana roots.

 

 

WHEELS WON’T ROLL is available to stream and download now, ahead of the third album due in early 2021. You can follow The Weeping Willows on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Instagram, or visit their website.

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