Mahalia – Diary of Me review

For a girl who hasn’t yet entered her twenties, Jamaican-Irish singer Mahalia Burkmar has achieved an awful lot already. She’s performed with Emeli Sandé, opened shows for Ed Sheeran and Tom Odeel, and appeared on the big screen in Noel Clarke’s Brotherhood.

Raised in Leicester, and now living in Birmingham, the 18-year-old’s first full-length mixtape, Diary of Me, is a mellow amalgamation of acoustic guitar melodies and chilled pop, which form the beds for her autobiography songs. Continue reading

Jam of the Week: Marika Hackman – Driving Under Stars

British folk singer Marika Hackman released her haunting debut album, We Slept at Last in 2015. That album was all original material, none of which appeared on her trio of EPs which preceded it.

Continuing her zeal for new music, Hackman has come up with spins on some Christmas favourites and a couple original songs for her first ever holiday EP. Continue reading

Xylaroo – Sweetooth review

Xylaroo are Holly and Coco Chant: two sisters making marvellously imaginative music which draws from an exotic cocktail of musical influences. The two sisters have lived in half a dozen countries, including Papua New Guinea, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, before settling – for the moment – in Canning Town, London. Their debut album, Sweetooth, is a journey that’s profoundly broad, wildly original and downright delicious on every level. Continue reading

Daughter – Not to Disappear review

Daughter 2015 press photo (800x450)Daughter’s 2013 album, If You Leave, was a graceful arrival by frontwoman Elena Tonra, guitarist Igor Haefeli and drummer Remi Aguilella. And who can forget the group’s killer cover of Daft Punk’s ‘Get Lucky’. Three years on, Not to Disappear is a record of boy problems and a stride for independence. 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

Exmagician – Scan the Blue review

Exmagician, press photo 2016, 01 (1024x569)Danny Todd and James Smith are Exmagician, two members of the band formerly known as Cashier No 9, who released the stupendous – though mostly overlooked – To the Death of Fun in 2011. Scan the Blue sees the Belfast duo stirring up more of the ethereal vocals and psych rock patterns that made their previous effect such a buoyant record. Continue reading