“Time catches up to you…and comes for us all” sings Matty James Cassidy during the chorus of ‘After All’, an instant highlight from his 2020 full length release ‘Old Souls’. It’s a sentiment that really seems to fit, as for the artist formerly known as Matty James, it seems he’s had nothing but time to reach this point in his career. Over a series of independent releases, he’s honed his mix of rock, blues and country to the point where this album genuinely sounds like a work calling out for greater attention. For anyone previously aware of Cassidy’s work, it’s a record that will more than entertain and thanks to a stronger sounding band and a much better production value, he’s turned in some of his best songs to date. ‘Old Souls’ has very clearly been made on a bigger budget, although fans should not worry that “bigger budget” somehow translates into “smoother material”, or be a case of that old chestnut “selling out” (a favourite war cry by record buyers who fear change and aren’t musicians themselves).
In 2017, Justine and The Unclean released their critically acclaimed debut album ‘Get Unclean’, a rousing collection of power pop and pop punk oriented material that really helped put singer Justine Couvalt on the map. A follow up EP (2018’s ‘Heartaches & Hot Problems’) brought fans another reason to get excited, proving the band wasn’t just a one-shot deal and also showing that they sounded just as natural when stepping out of their power pop comfort zone and applied their talents to a couple of much harder sounding riffs.
Three years after their ‘Five Hours North’ album, House Above The Sun make a very welcome return with ‘Time I Got Goin”, a five track EP that explores the full range of their beloved Americana sound. If you’re at all familiar with the band, ‘Time I Got Goin” does exactly what you’d expect, but if anything the new songs feel much warmer and more professional than before. One track, in particular, could be their best song to date.
Steve Hewitt is a singer-songwriter from Kent whose previous works have gained some very positive reviews from singer-songwriter, folk and Americana fans, with particular praise for carrying such an American sound considering his very English roots.
His first full length album ‘Bigger Than Words’ presents a far more intimate sound than his 2015 EP release ‘Life Stories’. Lots of the poppier elements have been cast aside in a move for the better. With Hewitt baring his soul in a more stripped back fashion, the album largely works around a finely played acoustic six string and a big voice, although a few other embellishments help to give his personal songs a much fuller feel without losing any of the subtleties. …And even a couple of forays into adult pop are far more professional sounding than anything Steve has released previously.
Experience comes with age, or so they say, but once in a while an artist emerges whose experience totally contradicts that theory. Still in her teens at the time of this EP release, singer-songwriter Althea Grace has already shared stages with The Shins and Doyle Bramhall II (the blues guitarist most famous for being sideman to both Eric Clapton and Roger Waters) and caught the attention of Sheryl Crow.