Tuesday, 31 July 2012

ALBUM REVIEW: LUKE RITCHIE - THE WATERS EDGE

Imagine writing and recording a new song every week for 6 months. Yeah exactly, that's a lot of work right? Well that's exactly what Luke Ritchie did at the start of 2010. Impressive stuff. Fortunately for the more lacklustre of us he's put the best of that material on his debut album 'The Waters Edge', which came out last week through Angel Fall Records.

Produced by Paul Savage, and recorded during two snowy weeks up in Scotland, the twelve track album is a journey through Ritchie's previous hard draft, as well as containing a few new ones. Although it's likely to get billed in the folk category, the record has a much deeper edge and a few more layers than your standard folk by numbers LP. Ricthie himself confesses to preferring the heavier spectrum of the genre, hence the decision to work with Paul Savage, the award winning producer who has worked with the likes of Mogwai.

Kicking off the record in a rather sombre but still powerful manner, 'Lighthouse' straight away demonstrates the range and sincerity of Ritchie's vocals. Next up is 'Shanty', an altogether different track, more up beat and positive, perfect for a right good jig around the camp fire. 'Cover It Up' has a deep warm bass line running through it giving the track some real groove. 'Words' introduces a piano for the first time, and turns out to be a genuinely touching song and one of the strongest on the album, with appreciation of space being a defining characterictic. 'Butterfly' is similar to 'Shanty', more up beat and catchy, giving the album depth and the listener a chance to reflect whats been before. 'Northern Lights' is one of those songs that makes you stop, listen, and think of other moments of your life, with next net two tracks 'Looking Glass' and 'Right There And Then' a reinformanct of that. Final track 'Song To Sundays' brings the mood back up again to give the album a positive ending.

'The Waters Edge' is a powerful, thoughtful, and wholly enthralling debut album by Luke Ritchie, one of which is highly recommended by Music Liberation, and will certainly be enjoying a healthy amount of time on our stereo for the months to come.


Sunday, 22 July 2012

NEW VIDEO: INK PROJECT - RAPTURE

Out this week through Blind Colour is 'Rapture', the Blondie inspired new single from Ink Project. The electronic duo from London released their debut album in 2011 called 'Inside The Sun', and followed that up with several special one off performances in and around the capital. They return this year with new material, headed up by the single 'Rapture', which is their own individual take on the Blondie classic.

The track is pretty mesmerizing, perfect for an end of day chill out, and the video that comes with it is equally interesting. Directed by Julia Schönstädt, the video features a dancer (Montse Roig), a sultry lady (Charlotte Ratz), and some impressive visuals from Dominic Kießling. It's impressive stuff, which although being almost 5 minutes in length seems to end far too soon, leaving you wanting much, much more. Ink Project

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

SINGLE REVIEW : SHAMBLES MILLER - CONFESSION

Way back when, in September 2009, we discovered a sprightly young chap from Glasgow called Shambles Miller. Then, he presented us with his debut EP 'Shambles Vs The Dragon Wizard', a four-track record that demonstrated his acute ear for solid folk songs with a humorous edge. Now, he presents us with his new single 'Confession', which is released this week through Pipe Down Records. With the formula seemingly little changed from when we first discovered him, 'Confession' is a humorous, but honest depiction of a relationship break-up, despite Shambles himself singing during the track 'the world doesn't need another break-up song'. 

The single begins with some twee (?) guitar playing, before Shambles hits the front, his vocals having a real warmth to them, with the Glaswegian twang becoming increasingly infectious as the song goes on. Lyrically gems such as "...so long and thanks for all the sex...", "...here's that one last confession, i never really liked your mum..." and "i knew it was over when you cancelled my Cineworld card", as well his mock David Bowie voice give the song a genuine but funny side.

However alongside the humor there is a sense of compassion and understanding that will certainly draw in the many of us who have indeed gone through one of life's toughest hurdles. Production wise things seemed to have upped a gear or two from when we last checked him out, with the track leaping from being quite sparse to full bodied pretty effortlessly.

A mention must also go to the b-side 'Pieces', which also centers around relationship breakups, however this track is more stripped back, with focus shifting away from the humorous vocals and instead Shambles presents a thoughtful, genuinely touching side to things through his lyrics and a simple soft guitar. It's a really strong track, which in many ways eclipses the single itself, but ultimately only serves to further enhance your positive feelings regarding Shambles and his music.

Despite dealing with the negative subject of a relationship break-up, Shambles puts a positive spin on things, through his vocals, the lyrics, and the up tempo music. By the end of 'Confession' you are left feeling somehow connected with others, with the thinking being that things really aren't as bad as you thought they were some 3 minutes and 53 seconds ago before you pressed play, and for such an achievement the entire arrangement of this single from start to finish must be applauded, recommended, and thoroughly enjoyed.


Wednesday, 4 July 2012

NEW VIDEO : TWO WOUNDED BIRDS - IF ONLY WE REMAIN

Out this week through Holiday Friends Recordings Group is the self titled debut album from Two Wounded Birds. We first tipped the 4-piece from Margate in our 'Future Sounds' post of 2011, with Mr Clive Rozario as always having his finger firmly on the pulse. 

Having garnered support from Drums lad Jacob Graham, Two Wounded Birds have had the spotlight acutely shown upon them ahead of their first full length release, with the usual new music suspects of Lamacq, Stephens, Robinson, Kennedy and the like all returning favorable opinions. We too can report that upon our initial listens the signs are very good. We'll have a full review for you in the days to come, but for now check out the video for 'If Only We Remain', the lead single to be taken from the album.