We take a look at some of the top independent artists in the UK in association with Labelled Independent, the new music podcast!
This month at Labelled Independent, our attention seems to have been dominated by two main themes. Firstly, a couple of singer-songwriters who bring something more to the table than your usual acoustic guitar noodlings, and secondly a few bands who bring something fresh to the li-fi/indie environment. And to round things off, because we like to keep things eclectic, we have a new album from one of the UK’s premier jazz musicians. You can’t say we don’t keep things broad.
First up, a triumphant return for one of Britain’s most talented and under-valued songwriters. Robinson (aka Andy Robinson) first garnered attention with debut album ‘England’s Bleeding’ in 2010, winning support from a broad range of high profile people. Notable names such as Will.i.am, Tom Robinson and Janice Long were impressed with his knack for taking twisted folk tales and manipulating them into foot-stomping, gypsy tinged crowd pleasers. They remain fans to this day, with Janice Long already championing new single ‘Waiting On Cinderella’ on Radio 2. New album ‘Willimena Machine’ (his 3rd) is perhaps Robinson’s most coherent release yet, its unique sound honed during an 18 month period busking on the sidewalks of California. Now excited to be back in the UK, ‘Willimina Machine’ marks the return of a unique talent with a distinct voice and sound all his own.
Tearing up the rule book in a different way is DIY alt-pop specialist RoBoT aLiEn (Rob Allen). His first LP as a solo artist after working with some of the biggest and brightest independent names in the West Midlands, LP ‘You’re The Problem That Will Not Go Away’ sees him on eclectic form from start to finish. Whether writing sparse, airy, acoustic and vocal tracks, fuzzy indie-rock or electronic alt-pop, Allen is comfortable across a range of styles. The result is an album that constantly keeps the listener guessing, while maintaining a home-spun, garage-band production sound to tie it all together.
Of a similar ilk but arguably more immediately accessible, Manchester band The Ambersons follow up their 2012 EP ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’ with their charming new single ‘The Housecat’. Free to download from July 22nd, it’s a track inspired by the exploits of the titular feline, a three legged cat by the name of Tina who lives with one of the band members. Describing their sound as ‘pop and roll’, this single sees The Ambersons on acoustic form, utilising their taste for catchy, folky melodies. You can grab the free download from their soundcloud soon, but in the meantime, you can still hear their previous EP on the link below.
Bristol based record label Reel Me Records have always impressed us at Labelled Independent with their penchant for signing bands who are talented, musical and above all have something different to offer. This month we have been lucky enough to have been offered not one, but TWO new bands for our listening pleasure. (http://www.reelmerecords.com/)
Three Kings High are a six piece who bring together an eclectic group of musical tastes, all of which are mixed into their own brand of musical soup. It means that as a band they are as comfortable cracking out a solid rock rhythm as they are solid funk and soul grooves, and delivering vocals that, while tuneful, are as complex and speedy as your average rapper’s. By bringing together funk, indie, hip hop and host of other influences, they make their new four song EP ‘Tell Em Lies’ something to savour.
The second offering from Reel Me Records are the hauntingly cinematic Polaroid 85. After the success of free EP ‘Fuzzy Mornings’ (still available), Polaroid 85 were snapped up by Reel Me for their official debut release the ‘Escapist EP’ (out now). Fittingly titled, this release genuinely is something of an escape from the norm, bringing together organic orchestral layering with glitch electronics to create an intricate base for their songs. Often downtempo and piano led, but with elements as diverse as jazz, trip hop and soul, Polaroid 85 add yet another eclectic string to out bow this month.
And finally for this month, we promised you some straight up jazz. Winner of two MOBO awards, YolanDa Brown is one of the UK’s top saxophonists, and has toured the world making a name for herself with flawless live performances. One of these shows, a live performance of the tracks from recent album ‘April Showers, May Flowers’, was captured and recorded in London to be released as a special Live edition of the LP, available July 29th. We’ve had the opportunity to listen to the recordings, and can guarantee they will be loved by fans of jazz and wider music fans alike. The performances are genuinely faultless, bringing together a talented band for ten saxophone led, melodic jazz pieces. The release also comes packaged with a DVD, so you can watch the events unfold in front of your eyes. An impressive end to a truly classy collection of artists from Labelled Independent this month.
Photo: Robinson Andy
Music editor – http://MyDadRocks.co.uk
Creator – Labelled Independent – the New Music Podcast
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