Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Single Review - Chapel On The Hill - Savannah Jaine

Many Country singers will cite that they have had a variety of influences, but few can claim as many as Savannah Jaine – hailing from Florida via New York, Nashville, Chicago, Texas, Cruises, Abu Dhabi and Ibiza, Savannah now finds herself in Lancashire with guitarist Lee Meadows.

With her new single Chapel On The Hill you can detect that range of influence and experience.  Whilst the DNA may be Country it certainly features a rocky edge, some pop, some outlaw country, and Spanish/gypsy style guitar (although played on Electric) and an ethereal, folksy set of backing vocals in the song.  Other artistes can cross genres, but not normally within a single song!

Don’t be put off though!  The song is far from a mish-mash of styles, rather it is a combination of them that come together to make a bouncy, up tempo and very enjoyable song, with a sing-along chorus even on first listen.

There is a sassy edge to the song and to the story in it.  The guitar seems to punctuate her statements, this girl means action: “I’m gonna find me a brand new thrill and  There’s a whole lot of fire left in me still”.

This girl is going to find her own life and she’s not afraid to try different paths, she will be true to herself.

You will be toe tapping throughout, her energy is infectious.

Could she be your new thrill?

Chapel On The Hill, the new single from Savannah Jaine, is available to stream and download from Friday 7 July

Find and follow Savannah Jaine on Facebook, on her website and on spotify

Friday, July 31, 2020

Single Review - Pick Me Up - Halle Kearns

Nashville based Halle Kearns releases her debut single at one of the strangest times for music, but with its fresh, summery sound Pick Me Up is the smile we all need right now.

Opening with a strummed acoustic guitar and a touch of electric in the background, the instrumentation suits Halle’s vocal as she sets out the feel of the song. “Its been a long week”, OMG isn’t that true, the nine to five, seems so much longer at the moment, especially for those working from home; “I’m in need of some TLC” is probably how most of us feel, or at less give us something to look forward to. Especially given that we recognise that Monday is just a short time away. The increase in tempo nicely reflects, the energy that is hoping the pick me up can provide.

There is a double meaning to pick me up, both the needed boost but the car ride too.

“Getting drunk on cheap champagne, forget about the world while we listen to the rain” is her request, what’s yours?

It seems that Halle has identified not just the weekend feel but the way many of us feel at the moment and a bouncy song certainly helps as a Pick Me Up

Whilst this is her debut single release, Halle has been busy supporting many artists including one of our favourites William Michael Morgan, and with her modern country style and song writing ability  it may not be long before Halle is crossing the Atlantic to perform at UK based festivals.

Wouldn’t that be a Pick Me Up!

Pick Me Up, the debut single from Halle Kearns is available now to download and stream on all major platforms

Find and follow Halle on facebook, her website and on spotify

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Single review - Thrill - Biddy Ronelle

While plans are changing, work rearranged, Biddy Ronelle has taken the opportunity of this enforced lockdown to pick up an unfinished song from 2018 and finish it off as her latest (third) single release – and she, along with bandmate & producer Stu Magru have done a fantastic job of it!

Telling a cheeky tale of hook ups and one-night stands Thrill is one for the adults!  Its not a love song, nor even a cautionary tale.  Whilst our storyteller is questioning her choices, she knows it’s inevitable, she knows “You never loved me” and she is “just for tonight” but she can’t help waiting for him to call and there’s no doubt she will open the door. “What is a girl meant to do?” he has a hold over her, and she can’t deny him.

Biddy has a strong, clear vocal, very much of the powerful modern female country style and that matches the power of the song, backed by some great guitar and steel work, and with a solid guitar opening to the track.
Biddy herself describes the song as

...definitely one of my lighter hearted songs but we think it's catchy and hopefully will appeal to a wide range of country, rock and pop fans.

Light-hearted it may be, but light it isn’t, and it is definitely Country.  Catchy, passionate, and powerful, Biddy and Stu have proved what is possible during lockdown creating a song that will have you singing along as has already been our single of the week – even before its release!

“Just for tonight I’m here for your thrill”

Thrill, the new single from Biddy Ronelle is available to stream and download from all major platforms from Friday 31 July

Find and follow Biddy on facebook, her website  and on spotify

Monday, July 27, 2020

Single Review - Now Or Never - Jessica Lynn

It has not been a great summer for anyone with Lockdown and very unseasonal weather, and that is also true for Jessica Lynn and her band who have had to postpone not only their European Tour but now also their American dates.  

Rather than let this get them down, the whole team have been back in the studio recording new material and taking advantage of the extra time to record a full album which should be out later this year.

The latest single from this work is Now Or Never.  The song launches straight into an instrumental melody with the whole band getting involved before we get to Jess singing over a drumbeat and some of husband Steve’s guitar magic.  The whole song has a bit of an 80s vibe to it, storytelling with some real theatre to it!

The bouncy feel of the song reflects the feel of the first love that the whole song is about – looking back it always seems to be associated with sunshine and long days, the subject of a million 80s movies!  It makes you think of leaning on your crushes car in high school parking lot chatting about summer plans!

The track is upbeat and feelgood – which we all need right now.  It is hard to pin Jessica Lynn down to one genre, she likes to push at the edges of Country/Rock/pop – but if this song veers towards pop it is well written, well crafted pop and you can picture Jessica bouncing around on stage with her trademark wonderful hair. 

Now Or Never, the new single from Jessica Lynn is available now to download and stream from all major platfoms

You can find and follow Jessica on facebook, her website and on spotify - or falling in love in the sunshine

Friday, July 24, 2020

Single Review - The Loser - Mike Ross

Hailing from the South…coast of England, Mike Ross has been busy working on his new album The Clovis Limit Pt2 which is due for release in October.  To whet our appetites he is dropping the first single from the album – The Loser – on Friday 24 July.

There is a definite retro feel to this track, fuelled by Mike’s voice which has a certain 70s edge to it (but not in any bad way!).  It opens with an almost jolly acoustic guitar and – rather unusually - some whistling before the vocal kicks in.  Electric guitar and handclaps then take over the melody as this tale of surviving against all the odds, against whatever is thrown at you.

Although there is a lot going on in the production of the track the vocal – with a touch of Chris Stapleton about it - is very much the star although it should be noted that Mike is also responsible for the acoustic guitar, bass, piano and percussion!  It can’t be easy to produce a record entirely in Lockdown, so kudos to Mike and all those who have kept on recording and producing, it will be great to hear what Mike can do with a full studio set up and a full band – and maybe he can take a little rest from doing all the instrumentals!

Three months is a long time to wait to hear the rest of the album, so we’ll hope for more single or teasers in the meantime!

The Loser, the first single from the forthcoming album The Clovis Limit pt 2 is available to download and stream from all major platforms from 
Friday 24 July

Find and follow Mike on facebook  his website  and spotify  and in teh studio working on everything!

Thursday, July 23, 2020

EP Review - Firecracker - Emilia Quinn

If you’ve ever met Emilia Quinn in person or followed her career you might think that Firecracker is a great way to describe this feisty little Leeds Tyke – so its an obvious choice for the title of her new EP

Ready Right Now opens the EP with a statement of intent.  From the urgent acoustic guitar intro which builds in volume, power and pace into Emilia’s softer, folky vocal to the picked up drum beat the song shows Emilia’s song writing skills and style, using changes of pace and repetitive phrasing where the words vary ever so slightly with each line to make a point

Ready right now, ready to find out, ready to fight now

As the song builds the instruments build with it - from acoustic guitar to drums to electric guitar dropping back to that repetitive beat for the chorus

The song also showcases Emilia’s range from that mellow vocal at the opening to her rocky country voice – it’s a great choice for the opening track

We sent the EP over to the Queen of crossing genres Sam Coe for a listen, and in her words

I love it! I would refer to this as new outlaw country 
She’s got loads of traditional influences in there, it’s just got proper grit. Could hear it on lots of tv shows... feels like her voice is held back throughout then you just get those WHAM moments when she lets the gruffness out.

Emilia loves to put a twist in her songs, demonstrated in Nothing To Lose – opening with a slow vocal , then the powerful voice takes us up a gear and into a faster toe tapping rhythm, but that doesn’t disguise the emotion in the song, punctuated by that powerful voice Emilia has.  Able to change tempo at will, you just have to listen to what she is telling you.

Drunk has a heavy beat from the abrupt spoken intro, the song shows the power of Emilia’s voice and the raw edge to her music. Every EP, every album needs the song that you can visualise being blasted out from a festival stage, and for Firecracker this is the one.

Emilia’s own favourite track on the EP is Outlaw. it starts almost stripped back, with a great, solid beat and Emilia’s sass all over it.  If Drunk is the “blast it from stage” track then this is the live show encore that will have you stamping your feet rather than tapping your toes and singing along by the first chorus
Outlaw Outlaw show me what you got
sounds like a direct challenge – and you get the feeling that Emilia can issue and stand up to any challenge!

Show me who’s the baddest bitch in the land

Judging by this track, and this EP – its you Emilia!

Firecracker, the new EP from Emilia Quinn is available on all major platforms from Friday 24 July

You can find and follow Emilia on Facebook  her website  and on Spotify

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Single Review - Every Story - Tennessee Twin

Despite Lockdown, Tennessee Twin have kept themselves busy livestreaming as part of The Songs and Stories Collective as well as on their own for various pages and now by releasing their new single Every Story produced entirely remotely.

Opening with a strident electric guitar, Victoria’s gentle voice comes in as a wonderful counterpoint and starts telling the first story of the song.  Geoff’s deeper voice is in stark contrast, but when they blend, they blend superbly, with the guitar, banjo and drums underpinning the vocals.

The track has a fabulous melody and a lovely rhythm to it, managing to be relaxed while keeping a certain pace to it.

The changes of tempo, the switch from acoustic guitar to electric guitar are clever and add to the feeling of a narrative, or story telling which is the theme of the track. Weaving mini stories into the lyrics we are reminded that there is more than meets the eye - and two sides to Every Story.

The words make you want to listen, to appreciate the stories contained in it, but you just can’t help tapping your foot and starting to sing along.  The music draws you in just as much as the stories do!

The repetition of two sides to every story to end the song really makes the point and encourages you to always look at both sides of every story.

Every Story, the new single from Tennessee Twin is available to download and stream now.

Find and follow Victoria and Geoff on Facebook, and catch them every Sunday livestreaming with The Songs and Stories Collective