Wild Belle – Dreamland review

Wild Belle 2016 press photo 1 (1500x844)The ska-influenced Chicago rock of Wild Belle was truly something to adore when their debut, Isles, arrived in 2013. The combination of smooth vocals and psychedelic slow jams from the brother and sister group was delicious. On Dreamland, the duo has gone even more experimental, producing a fierce follow-up that channels the musical grandeur of Firefly composer Greg Edmonson and singer Paloma Faith in one place. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Kehlani – Advice

Kehlani - Advice (1000x562)When it comes to self-defence, Oakland-born R&B rebel Kehlani sounds like she could give an army of assailants a butt-whoopin’ they won’t soon forget. She’s a tough-talking-rough-riding-Michelle-Rodriguez kind of woman, or at least that’s the impression you get from her music and colourful body tatts. Continue reading

David Bowie – Blackstar review

David Bowie, 2013, by Jimmy King (1400x786)David Bowie was an artist to the very end. Since the musician passed away just days after its release, so much has been said and written about Blackstar, the final parting gift from the pioneering figure, that it seems improbable to say anything that hasn’t already been said. I have labelled this a “review”, but really this is an encouragement for you to listen to Blackstar if you haven’t already. Continue reading

Jorja Smith – Project 11 EP review

Jorja Smith, Afropunk London 2016, Ally Pally, by Aaron Lee (960x540)The confidence that resonates from Jorja Smith quickly leaves you defenceless. She’s an 18-year-old going on 28, singing about urban life, young love and society’s uncomfortable injustices.

Propelled by the response to ‘Blue Lights’, a short tale of a young person walking unwelcome streets, which garnered much acclaim for her at the start of the year, Smith has apparently received plenty of offers from major labels, but has so far declined them all. She prefers do her own thing. The strength of her first EP, Project 11, is good reason for this rising talent to continue being an independent woman. Continue reading

Tall Black Guy – Let’s Take a Trip review

Tall Black Guy profile photo (630x350)If Terrel Wallace made clothes he would be creating crisp, tailored suits made from all natural materials. They’d come in a range of colours like those worn by the Four Tops and the Temptations during Motown’s golden years. And the words frequently attached to wearing one of his suits would be: suave, sophisticated and timeless.

Terrel Wallace does not make suits. He makes music. But those same words apply. Continue reading

Marie Dahlstrom – 0.0 EP review

Marie Dahlstrom press photo 2016, 1 (1280x720)Nowadays, it’s not difficult to make something that passes for a love song. But to create something that people actually connect with, and some feel sums up their feelings for somebody, now that still takes talent. Scandinavian singer and pianist Marie Dahlstrom has won the hearts of many around the world thanks to her skill at crafting patient, sincere-sounding love songs. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: John Mayer – Love on the Weekend

John Mayer - Love on the Weekend single (600x338)If you’re going to hitchhike across the United States, you’d do well to bring some John Mayer with you. (And not only because his instrumental contribution to Frank Ocean’s Channel Orange is still one of the greatest one-minute instrumental interludes of recent memory.) The music of this Connecticut guitarist and rock singer conjures up idyllic visions of America’s wild lands. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: AOSOON – Something

AOSOON, press 2015 (1000x563)AOSOON stands for “Alot of Something Out of Nothing”. And in the case of this south London duo, the acronym sums up the music neatly.

The group’s stirring “gangsta folk” swept me away when I saw them at a live music showcase earlier this year, and since then I’ve been following them. The duo’s songs ‘Same Difference’ and ‘Under’ have been on my hot list all year. And this week’s jam is equally as strong. Continue reading