Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Feature: Catherine McGrath

Catherine McGrath has had a busy couple of years, moving from Ireland to London in 2016 to pursue her dream. This move has sparked her career and now signed to Warner Bros. Records, she released her debut EP 'One' in December last year and followed up with second EP 'Starting From Now' in the Summer. Catherine has supported the likes of Una Healy, Picture This and The Shires; as well as appearing at many festivals across the UK and Ireland. Now she heads out on tour with Dan+Shay and looks forward to releasing her eagerly anticipated debut album, coming February 2018... 

1. 'Talk Of This Town' is your first official music video, how did you find the experience of creating a moving image story to go with your own song?
It was a song I wrote about my life and it was super real so the music video was made up mostly of videos I already had from the last two years of my life. It was emotional watching it all and seeing what I'd done over the past two years, having all those memories in a video that I get to call my first ever music video is amazing. 

2. You recently moved to London, how have you found this has influenced and affected your music?
It's completely changed it, it means I'm in a place where I can work with so many writers and there are so many studios and people to meet. It's exactly where I want to be to make music right now. 

3. Your debut album is set to be released early next year, which song are you most excited about currently, and why?
I think has to be my song 'Wild', it's one of my favourites I've ever written. I play it live and people ask about when it'll be released a lot so I can't wait to finally share it. 

4. Previous live performances include UK and Ireland tours, and loads of festival slots, but where in the world would you most like to perform and why?
I'd love to perform in America, or just anywhere outside of the UK to see what the difference is. Playing the Bluebird or the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville would be insane, they're such iconic venues. And I'd love to do a headline tour at some point! 

5. Would you rather have two left feet or two right hands?
Two left feet, I'm more used to using my hands for guitar and stuff so I couldn't change that. 

'Talk Of This Town' Review:
'Talk Of This Town' is a catchy, upbeat, feel good pop/folk song. Sonically reminiscent of early Taylor Swift, and is very narrative lyrically. The single is an easy listening track that sums up Catherine's sound perfectly, and the colourful video reflects the music well. This song sets the bar high for her debut album, which everyone should be getting excited about! 

See Catherine Support Dan+Shay:
28th November: KOKO, London
29th November: Trinity, Bristol
1st December: Academy 2, Birmingham
3rd December: Academy 2, Manchester
4th December: St Lukes, Glasgow
6th December: Vicar St, Dublin
7th December: Mandela Hall, Belfast

Catherine McGrath's Links:

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Friday, 24 November 2017

Feature: Charlie Wren

Charlie Wren is a 21 year old singer-songwriter, based in Guildford, UK. Over the past year she has performed at many open mic's and Music In Time events, and has more recently been focused on writing and finding her sound. Now, after working on her originals with David Waters (Pinc Wafer) in the studio, Charlie has created a unique indie pop sound. Her debut EP 'Inspired' has just been released, so we caught up with Charlie for a Q&A... 

1. Who influences you musically and what inspires you lyrically?
I'm influenced by every musician I hear, there is always something to learn! But specifically, Lucy Rose, Daughter, Laura Marling and Bon Iver were massive influences growing up. My lyrics are definitely inspired by personal experience, just come naturally. 

2. It hasn't been long since creating Charlie Wren to now releasing your debut EP, what made you release it now?

As simple as it sounds, I was inspired and had a mega rush on writing, it went from pen to paper so quickly and it felt like I finally found my sound. So I was eager to get it out there, hence the quick turnaround. 

3. What's your favourite song from your EP 'Inspired' and why does it stand out to you?

This is such a difficult question, I really love the vulnerability of 'Shrug It Off' but the transformation of 'Getting By' really made me proud. There were moments I wasn't sure if it was going to make it because it's too wordy but the narrative shone through and I think it kicks ass. 

4. What's your plan for 2018?

At the moment, my plan is to keep writing, hopefully new releases will be on the horizon but I'm mainly looking at getting myself out there to open mics and gigs. 

5. What is one thing that you would like to change about the world?

Oh man, I would just like everyone to be seen as equal no matter what. I feel like if equality was embraced many more things would fall into place. 

'Inspired' EP Review:

The EP opens with 'In Between', the lead track from the release, also accompanied by a brilliant music video. The listener is instantly pulled in by the atmospheric bass, light melody and catchy riff;  it's a dreamy track that builds into a hypnotic chorus. The song features many contrasts, which is highlighted with the video too. 'Getting By' starts with a stunning piano intro, growing with guitar whilst underlining the beautiful vocals and rawness of the lyrics. 'Inspired' has the catchiest chorus of them all, and cuts to gentle and vulnerable verses. It's a strong title track and it's one of my favourite songs on the release, thanks to the smooth vocals and skippy guitar. Charlie's vocals really shine through in 'Never Could Tell', they're powerful and emotion-filled, really bringing the lyrics to life. The EP ends with a live recording of 'Shrug It Off', the ticker and background noises add to the vulnerability of this song and put you in the room with Charlie. It's a raw and honest song, an open letter if you will. This one really showcases her songwriting and ability to tell a story. This is a brilliant debut release, I'm excited to hear future songs already. 

Charlie Wren's Links:

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Spotlight: Saint Raymond

Nottingham singer, Saint Raymond, returns with a brand new EP 'A Light That Blinds'. It's the first taste of new music since his 2015 debut album 'Young Blood'. His debut EP 'Escapade' reached the Top 10 in the iTunes chart, and has since released another two EPs and his debut album. Saint Raymond has had strong support from Radio 1, supported Ed Sheehan throughout the UK and Europe in 2014, as also played with the likes of HAIM and Jake Bugg on major tours throughout the country... 

'A Light That Blinds' EP Review:
The EP opens with 'Younger', a track that is reminiscent of Lucy Spraggan, but with a rockier guitar throughout. There's a catchy melody whilst the guitar is classic and punchy. 'Nightcrawling' is the lead single from the release, and on first listen you can tell why. It's an indie pop tune, with haunting vocals that grow into a memorable chorus that's bound to get you humming along. 'Last Time' takes the listener back to Saint Raymond's previous releases as it's a familiar sound, a slower, more stripped back track with even more vulnerable lyrics, showing rawness in his vocal ability. The EP closes with 'We Are Fire', another indie pop anthem, with a more simple melody, rounding the release off nicely. It's uplifting and provides the EP with a big finish! 'A Light That Blinds' is a euphoric EP that creates montage vibes, perfect for saying goodbye to the warm autumn days. 

Saint Raymond's Links:

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Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Feature: Lake Acacia

Formed in Banbury, Oxfordshire, Lake Acacia are an alternative rock band. Consisting of members, Adam Budd (lead vocals, guitar), Tim Groethe (bass guitar, backing vocals) and Joe Homer (drums, percussion, backing vocals). They officially formed in July 2016 whilst writing music and planning for their debut EP 'Figure Frame' which was released on 22nd September 2017. They have plans to tour the UK and have already been working in the studio for a second EP to be released in 2018...

1. How did 'Lake Acacia' come about?
Joe and I were fannying about with various covers bands and writing some pretty heavy music for a while whilst growing up and kind of ended up with Lake Acacia as a result of all that. The name was a result of putting some 'cool' words together until we got something we liked but I think it's also a place you can go in Pokemon? Things got a bit more serious when Tim joined permanently after filling in for us at a gig at the last minute and now we've come as far as releasing an EP and we've already got another one on the way. We gel pretty well as people and we've been in our fair share of unusual situations since forming this lineup...

2. What was your favourite track to create from your EP 'Figure Frame' and why?
'Self Restraint' was a really fun track to record, the dirt was real. That song is usually pretty rowdy live too because it's just so filthy. Another cool one to create was 'Hold Fast' just because of how long it was in the works and how much it developed over time. I think we recorded 4 or 5 different versions of that over the years? Safe to say we're glad it's finished.

3. Who influences you musically and what inspires you lyrically?
We've definitely got roots in progressive metal and rock although the band takes on a sound more like Muse or Biffy Clyro with a few bits and pieces borrowed from other genres that we've thrown in there too. As for lyrics I ended up writing a couple of tracks from Figure Frame as a way of dealing with some issues I had been having at home although the EP generally deals with the struggles the average person has to overcome on a daily basis in order to reach their goals and we all had some input on that.

4. You have plans for a UK tour following your EP release, but where in the world would you most like to tour and why?
I know that Tim really wants to tour America because it would be a huge milestone for the band and he has some relatives there too. For me and Joe it's gotta be Japan purely because of how different and weird it is as a country and there's some cool culture there too. Plus the crowds seem pretty nutty!

5. Would you rather have feet for hands or hands for feet?
I think we're all for hands for feet there, I don't think we could play too well with 6 pairs of feet but having 12 hands between us? You could make some pretty sick music with that...

'Figure Frame EP' Review:
The EP opens with 'Hold Fast', a track that sets the scene and pace for what's to come. The melodic harmonies provide a chilling atmosphere alongside the choppy instrumentation. The guitar of 'You Will See' follows on well from the previous track creating a definite 'Lake Acacia' sound. There's a more choral vocal backing the lead in this song, building a well layered track. 'Ask Me Again Tomorrow' is a steadier song, with break downs into gentle lullaby state interludes, building straight back up into a catchy upbeat tempo. Closing the EP is 'Self Restraint', an instantly heavier and thicker sound, with the contrast of an almost funky bass. From this track in particular you can hear their influences of heavier musicians, this is shown with the lead vocals versatility as he growls and screams. This EP is full of power, passion and personality.

See Lake Acacia Live:
25th November: The Royal Oak, Crick
1st December: Also Known As, Banbury
2nd December: The Cricketers, Milton Keyes
15th December: The Greatworth Inn, Greatworth
16th December: The Dun Cow, Daventry
31st December: The Royal Oak, Crick

Lake Acacia's Links:

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Rewind #12

Standing Still - Me and The Moon
Me and The Moon are back and this time they're releasing a single through My Little Empire Records. The band have gained two members since we featured them, released another single ('Get Away') and performed at loads of gigs and festivals. This is an upbeat, infectious indie pop track - you're gonna love it!

Last - Tusks
Tusks (aka Emily Underhill) released her debut album 'Dissolve' on 13th October. It has a couple of older favourites, and a handful of new tracks (as well as an awesome cover of Foals' 'London Thunder'). I'm so pleased Emily's added this cinematic indie album to her previous releases - it gives me even more great music to listen to! 

Hollow - Jome
You probably won't recognise the name 'Jome' from this blog, and you're probably wondering why it's been included as we haven't previously featured or spotlighted a duo called Jome! This is Jesse Epstein (Imaginary Future)'s latest project. They've already released an album, which is well worth a listen... 

Your Tears - REWS
REWS have been really busy since we last spoke to them! They released this awesome new track, accompanied with a just as awesome music video, they released their debut album 'Pyro' earlier this month and they're currently on a headline UK tour! (Dates and tickets here!) Enjoy this upbeat and catchy tune! 

A Glass Too Far - Corey Bowen
We featured Corey Bowen when he released one of his first tracks last year, and now he's back with the first song in a series of new singles to be released. This is 'A Glass Too Far', a really neat, easy listening track, I'm a big fan of Corey's, and I'm sure you will be too! 

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Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Friday, 10 November 2017

Feature: The Dunwells

Hailing from Leeds, The Dunwells formed in 2009, by brothers Joe (vocals, guitars) and David Dunwell (vocal, piano, guitar). They've previously released two albums and two EPs and have toured all over the world supporting a list of big names. Now they've announced some live dates for 2018 and a brand new EP to be released on 1st December of this year (2017). We caught up with Joe for a quick Q&A... 

1. You've just announced a brand new EP, 'Colour My Mind', what's your favourite track from the forthcoming release and why?
I love the track 'Fire Down', I mean I am absolutely proud of the whole EP and how it has all just fallen together but 'Fire Down' is intense. It's our fight song! The other day I was watching Rocky Balboa and I thought, 'Fire Down' would be perfect for this, it's the bit in the film where he says, 'it ain't about how hard you can hit it, it's about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward.' Genius!

2. The sound of this EP is difference to previous, what prompted the change for this new release?
The EP is something we are really proud of and I think the change is just a natural evolution of The Dunwells, we wanted there to be more of an organic sound, me and Dave have figured as long as it has key Dunwell elements, like our vocals and vocal harmonies then the music can go wherever it feels, no limitations, that's the joy of making music. 

3. You're heading out on a string of live UK dates next year, but where would you most like to tour in the world and why?
My favourite thing to do is tour, I have been so lucky that a handful of songs and a guitar have taken me around the world, but I always want to see more. I have never been to Australia so that would be a dream come true to go there, I love Europe and would like to explore that a bit more, but right NOW I am getting so excited to go back on tour in the UK. 

4. With shows across Europe, support slots, headline tours, and festival performances, what is your favourite live moment you've experienced?
This year has been an amazing year, creating this EP, we have also nailed down a few tracks for the album that we are going to drop next year too and whilst doing that we got to play our first stadium show ever supporting Bryan Adams at the Ageas Stadium. That was pretty spectacular. The moment I walked on stage I thought this is it, this is what I want to do for the rest of my life. 

5. Who's your all time favourite artist/band?
Damien Rice - This guy made me fall in love with songwriting, when I was young I would listen to his album 'O' on repeat. 
And, Radiohead - Again the OK Computer Album, it changed my world. 

'Colour My Mind' Review:
'Colour My Mind' is a fantastic title track, as soon as the beat kicked in, you knew it was going to be an upbeat and loveable song. The simple vocal melody in the chorus supplies a hook that will get stuck in your mind, and the soulful vibe is bound to pick you up. It's a great song that holds great promise to be even better live. 

See The Dunwells Live (2018):
28th February: London Fields Brewey, London
1st March: Gullivers, Manchester
2nd March: The Chapel, Leeds
3rd March: King Tuts, Glasgow

The Dunwells' Links:

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Feature: Kylie Spence

16 year old singer-songwriter, Kylie Spence, has now released two singles, and has just signed to Sony imprint Jungle Strut Music. She wrote and recorded her first song when she was 12 and is now sharing her music with hundreds of thousands of people. Her debut single 'Lying Eyes' immediately hit iTunes' Hot Tracks chart of the week, and already accumulated 148,000 Spotify streams. Now she releases 'The L Word' and is sure to make waves throughout 2018. 

1. Who/what inspired you to start writing and recording music when you were so young?
I remember the VERY first song I wrote which was when I was super little, probably 9 or 10. It was Father's Day, and I wrote a little chorus for my Dad. It went, 'cause you're my father, my only father, from the seas of generosity, sent here to watch over me.' We both thought it was really cute. At the time it was just a way of my justifying not writing an actual card for him. But that was the first I had ever done anything like that. I guess it just became a more common thing for me as I grew older. In eighth grade when I found myself sick with mono, I also found myself having a LOT of time. I needed something to do besides watching Netflix 24/7, so I wrote. I actually wrote so much my Mom would have to tell me to stop sometimes. But I don't think there has ever been one thing or one person that drove me to write and record music. I feel like it's always been something I am called to do. I know it sounds cheesy, but I am super drawn to it. 

2. What process did you go through creating 'Lying Eyes' and do you feel it's a process you will continue to use for future releases?
Lying Eyes was actually written at the end of Summer 2015. I never actually thought that I would ever record it one day, so the process was very laid back and organic. I was sitting on the floor of my bedroom and started with the acoustic guitar strum. From there, the lyrics just came to me. It really was a simple writing process, and even when I write songs today, it's a fairly similar process. I try not to overthink it, and just let things happen. That is what seems to work the best for me. Recording it was also simple and pretty fast. We tracked a demo and the demo is actually really similar to the final track. We really built off the demo and made sure it was perfect. It was by far my favourite song so far that I've done. 

3. If you could listen through anyone's record collection, who would you choose and why?
If I could listen to anyone's record collection it would be Chris Martin. I LOVE Coldplay, and I would be super interested to see what Chris listens to, and who and what inspires his records. 

4. What are you aiming to achieve in 2018?
I hope to do a lot in 2018. I really want to become known as a new and upcoming music artist, and I want to have a small fan base/following. I want to be able to perform and tour my EP which I will release Summer of 2018. I also want to write and record with new people, and hopefully release some new content late 2018. 

5. If you were stranded on a desert island, which three items would you want to have with you?
Definitely my instruments, a piano and guitar, for sure. I would also have an unlimited supply of the vanilla freeze from pressed juicery and lastly I would bring my bible. 

'The L Word' Review:
'The L Word' has a twangy pop tone throughout, Kylie's vocals are raw and showcase her lyrics well. It's a good song to chill out to, and is reminiscent of Taylor Swift, Halsey or Lauren Aquilina. . The track is catchy; a calming smooth alt-pop song, perfect for listening to anytime and anywhere. Kylie's definitely one to watch for the future! 

Kylie Spence's Links:

Music In Time's Links:
Contact: musicintimeblog@gmail.com

Friday, 3 November 2017

Spotlight: Lucy Rose

Credit: Laura Lewis
Lucy Rose has had a fulfilling and successful twelve months, revolving around her third album, 'Soemthing's Changing', which she released alongside a mini-documentary detailing the making of the album. This led to a Worldwide Cinema Tour and a busy summer performing at Latitude, Bestival, Glastonbury, Barn on The Farm and many more festivals and shows. The past year has already seen Lucy travel across Latin America, South East Asia, Europe and her first US tour in support of Paul Weller. Now she releases a bonus track 'End Up Here' and heads out on a UK tour this week... 

'End Up Here' Review:
It's clear that her sound has evolved since her previous releases and this song is very attached to her most recent album 'Something's Changing'. 'End Up Here' has a beautiful tone to it, with Lucy's versatile vocals shining through. The nature of the narrative is similar to 'Shiver', however this track sounds really mature and has a depth of wisdom to it. The instrumental is very stripped back, and makes the track feel like a wind down from the album. The backing vocals add to the sound and create an intimate yet inspiring atmosphere. This has turned into one of my favourite Lucy Rose songs in a matter of days! 

See Lucy Live:
4th November: The Old Market, Brighton
6th November: Royal Northern College Of Music, Manchester
7th November: Brudenell, Leeds (SOLD OUT)
8th November: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
9th November: Plug, Sheffield
11th November: Wheelan's, Dublin
12th November: Stanley Theatre, Liverpool
13th November: Fruit, Hull
14th November: Caves, Edinburgh
15th November: Oran Mor, Glasgow
17th November: Guidhall, Gloucester
18th November: Tramshed, Cardiff
19th November: SJE Arts, Oxford
21st November: Glee Club, Birmingham
22nd November: Glee Club, Nottingham
23rd November: Junction, Cambridge
24th November: Engine Rooms, 24th November

Lucy Rose's Links: