Thursday, April 2, 2020

Single Review - Devil You Know - Megan O'Neill

With her new single Devil You Know from her forthcoming album Megan has addressed the popular topic of relationships. – Unlike many country songs this isn’t about the sliver lining, loss or remorse but a reflection on reality, but it is probably more honest than many would care to admit.

A slow, melancholy start with a wailing guitar as our storyteller reviews her relationship, looking at the way they fight, with the tempo reflecting the slow plod of a familiar but pointless relationship. It’s a heavy load to carry; you can feel the weight in the song.

As she starts to look at other men, starts to wonder “if they could do a better job than you” the tempo lifts to reflect a hope, a possibility!

The honesty comes in when Megan sings that even a new relationship will still end up the same, it just a matter of time before the cracks will emerge.  

The song asks questions but gives no answers 

What happens to relationships?

Would it really be different with someone else? 

Would it be better?

The great slide guitar riff halfway through really punctuates the statement its better the Devil You Know.

Repeating the chorus. She reflects some more

Sadly, like too many people she’s not prepared to risk it. History will only repeat itself, so it is better to stick with what you have - stay with the Devil You Know!

In a bizarre way, it is a declaration of love to the man she has. 

This is a great example of a modern country pop song. Well written, well-paced and well performed

Devil You Know, the new single from Megan O'Neill is available now to download and stream

Find Megan on Facebook and on her website  

Monday, March 30, 2020

Single Review - No God Of Mine - Taynee Lord

Taynee wrote No God of Mine when she suddenly realised all her failed past relationships shared the same zodiac sign & bad traits. Everybody knows someone who is arrogant enough to think they’re God’s gift. The song is inspired by a guy whose charm works wonders on many but when faced with someone who isn’t falling for his usual games, he isn’t too sure how to handle her. 

An electric guitar and drum intro leads into Taynee’s distinctive voice which has been described as high octane country twang. When she reaches for the top notes, I picture those American series about vampires and voodoo. Not a sound you expect from a girl from Bristol. Her voice commands your attention, it has a tough edge to it, which gives an air of control and really suits this song. Taynees’s voice helps to give an image of this strong, in control woman who is done with taking nonsense from men.

I’m not a puppet, you can’t pull my strings…You ain’t no Zeus…if you let me loose I may never come back

The instrumental breaks, which are in fact more like clever musical interludes, fit well with the lyrics. 

This is not a song full of self-pity, it’s upbeat, she knows this guy isn’t all that; she’s smarter than the other girls.

No God Of Mine, the new single from Taynee Lord is available to stream and download from 10 April

Taynee can be found on facebook, Instagram and checking your zodiac…

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Single Review - The River - Megan Dhalai

Hailing from the North East, Megan Dhalai is a singer songwriter who has already gained some interest and success despite this being her debut single!

After being nominated as best songwriter at the U Beat Awards as far back as 2016 and already playing major venues in Newcastle,  Megan has now released her debut track The River, and sent us an advance copy.

It is hard to know what to expect from any artist who is brand new to us, and Megan’s mature, deep vocal came as a very pleasant surprise.  Coupled with mournful pedal steel under the fabulous acoustic guitar the song  is very emotive 

The tempo is slow paced, rather like a slow flowing river, and the story takes you long with it, like a lazy river current!

Singing about holding on to memories while you are apart from your love, using those memories to prove to yourself that the love was and is real. The instrumentation and almost ethereal layering of vocals gives the song a fairly unique sound – not traditional Country but blending emotion with traditional  celtic  sounds and that haunting, folky voice. The use of pedal steel is close to perfect for this track. 

There is a definite vibe of Julee Cruise (Twin Peaks) in both voice and style here!

The River, the debut single from Megan Dhalai is available to stream and download from 3 April. 

Find Megan on Facebook, on Instagram and reminiscing by The River

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Single Review - Another You - Kezia Gill

Another You, the new single from Kezia Gill is quite obviously a collaboration, as the instrumentation and production is quite a departure from her usual style, with much use of effects and the mixing desk, rather than her usual acoustic guitar and traditional sounds.

After quite a poppy, jangly opening Kezia’s voice comes in, and when Kezia sings you listen because you know she has something to say.  The song is a declaration of love, and this time it is for real, it is forever.  This is not some sickly love song though, this is powerful, raw and emotional through the vocal.  It is a shouted declaration she wants him to hear it and know it, she wants the world to hear it and know it

The feeling is mutual – he only has eyes for her, he is making her feel loved

The song is sung in such a way that it needs to be played loud – or at least the vocal part.  Kezia has such a voice that the backing instruments are almost superfluous, although the rocking guitar break does strike the right note and the inclusion of just a kick drum may have helped to drive the track

We are lucky as DJs that we have the kit to play this song loud, for everyone else when Kezia plays this loud and proud with her band at a gig or festival, we are all in for a treat!

Another You, the new single from Kezia Gill, will be available to download and stream from 17 April 2020

Keep Kezia company on facebook and her website

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Single Review - Whiplash - Charlotte Young

It is very tempting and very easy to compare young female country singer/songwriter’s to Taylor Swift, but then again she is an inspiration for many of the class of 2020, and epitomises modern country.  So do we compare Charlotte Young to her?  Well, yes, and no!  The style is there, but Charlotte has a husky edge to her voice.

With her debut single Whiplash, Charlotte has given us a slight teenage vibe but with that matured edge, similar to Taylor Swift in her “you do and you don’t, will and you won’t”  lyric, but again, moved on, into a whiskey haze!

Charlotte allows the instruments to stress the emotions rather than just her vocals, with the reach for higher notes coming in later in the track.  The song tells the story of how she met him – it’s a very visual song. It all happened at a whiplash speed, short choppy lyrics and changes in tempo emphasise this feeling.

Whilst this is a debut single, Charlotte is certainly not new to performing, being a regular face on the Birmingham open mic scene, both singing and hosting as well as gigging around the Midlands, honing and perfecting her craft.

There is one more comparison with Taylor Swift – Charlotte has achieved a country chart number 1!

Whiplash, the debut single from Charlotte Young is available on all major digital platforms to stream and download

Charlotte can be found self isolating on facebook and instagram 

Friday, March 20, 2020

Single Review - Tip Of My Tongue - Gary Quinn

Gary Quinn writes a lot of his songs about love and romance – and we are never sure how many of them are autobiographical!  What Gary does particularly well is to take the emotions and feelings of relationships and putting them into words.

This is demonstrated in Gary’s latest single Tip Of My Tongue, where he is singing about all of those first feelings – first meeting, first dance, first kiss - are all you can think about. With his usual incredibly clever word craft, using the tip of the tongue represents not just how the memories consume you but how important  the senses are, and your tongue being not just sensory but also trying to put into words how you feel in all this excitement.

Playing live, Gary seems quite happy to be on stage with just a guitar and his stories – and even with a full band, or on a single like this, what you are really hearing is his voice and his words, although there is a great attention grabbing opening note to Tip Of My Tongue.

A fantastic ambassador for UK Country, it is a pleasure to hear new music from one of the hardest working singers, both on and off stage.

These are tricky times in the music and festival world, but we can be sure that Gary Quinn will always be around, making things happen and making great music.

Tip Of My Tongue is available to download and stream now on all digital platforms.  

You can find Gary on facebook, online, and out and about representing UK Country!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Single Review - Pity Party - Donna Marie

If you haven’t met Donna Marie before she’s the multi-instrumentalist in a Country Night In Nashville with a big guitar, bigger heart and even bigger voice. Donna Marie is a very talented singer/songwriter/producer in her own right, and is starting to get the individual recognition that she so richly deserves.

Speaking of getting what she deserves, her new single Pity Party is about someone realising their own worth.  

Super intro, single notes with Donnas voice over the top. Gentle, mellow, the measured tempo as she recounts what life was like with a guy who was controlling. She realises what a fool she was just going along with it all.

The tempo increases as our storyteller takes control of the situation and her life.

She feels pity for him, he didn’t expect she would find her courage and makes a stand. His “party”, way of life has coming to an end. Rather than anger or even sorrow, the song expresses regret, displaying a real maturity.  She recognises he didn’t intend to hurt her but didn’t know better.  The party is a metaphor for her life, the lights come on not only at the party but also in her mind, illuminating for her that this just isn’t right, awakening her inner lion, finding her courage

The instrumental break has a sense of motion to it, perhaps reflecting her own metaphorical move to becoming stronger.  Matt Wells on Dobro is a fabulous addition to this song, complementing Donna Marie’s warm and soothing voice

The song ends by repeating that she has found her courage and she can do what she wants underlined by the solo note fade out.

Pity Party, the latest single from Donna Marie is available to download and stream from 23 March.

For updates on where you can see Donna Marie live follow her on Facebook or her website