Our latest choice music collection gives you Catgod, Joshua Burnside, Mountain Lions, Paul Steel, Stella Sommer, Zack Logan and Givers
HEARTBEAT IN MY HANDS EP
Over four tracks, this five-piece from Oxford make their claim for the alt-folk throne. The real highlight is Keep My Promises – cascading rhythms ebb and flow, encasing Robin Christensen-Marriott’s warped vocals and enrapturing these ears. It’s as inventive as it is welcome.
LOVE IS LIKE A FIRE
If you can’t listen to joyful upbeat tunes in the summer, when can you? With this track, Givers give me exactly what I want: uptempo verses blending effortlessly into euphoric choruses full of synth vibes. If this is a sign of things to come, I’m looking forward to their new EP, which drops at the beginning of August.
Affairs Of The Heart
Taking her cues from Marianne Faithfull and Nico, Sommer’s debut solo single is stark, dramatic and a serious achievement considering that she is singing in English for the first time. The precision in her vocal delivery only adds to the song’s charm.
I SEE SADNESS
The latest single from English songwriter Paul Steel is a whimsical and sweet pop track with a message. As Steel explains: “When I observe the people around me I see sadness in all of them. It’s not all I see but it felt good not to be alone. Sadness is a crucial part of happiness, only before I wallowed in it rather than using it as a springboard to get what I want in life.” Steel really does turn his frown upside down and, if your feeling a little blue, I See Sadness will do the same for you.
A track with all the relaxed charm of the state of its title, California is a warm offering from Steven Diaz’s indie pop ensemble. There are hints of Jack Johnson in the breezy delivery, making it ideal fodder for this time of year.
A MAN OF HIGH RENOWN
Joshua Burnside’s debut album, Ephrata, won the 2017 Northern Ireland Music Prize, and on A Man of High Renown, Burnside demonstrates why he’s held in such high regard. The influence of traditional Irish folk music is clear, while the song’s sombre accordion melodies hints that Burnside has spent some considerable time thumbing through the collections of Neutral Milk Hotel and Beirut. It’s lovely stuff.
Nashville-based songwriter Zack Logan’s single, Annalee, featured in Rolling Stone‘s 10 Best Country & Americana Songs Of The Week. It’s a gentle, delicately crafted number, which features intricate guitar picking. However, there’s little that is memorable about it, meaning country and Americana fans will feel there are better songs out there.
Words: Duncan Haskell, Damien Girling, Fern Dunn