ROY SHAKKED – Know Nothing EP

Using the name Holmes, singer/songwriter/producer Roy Shakked released an unmissable covers album – the appropriately titled ‘Covers’ – back in 2011. The following years found him disappearing into a busy schedule of work: a full length album of originals appeared in 2012 and following his relocating to Israel, by 2015, he was became a member of a new band The Bright Wild. Roy’s music continued to be hidden in plain sight over the next couple of years with his compositions appearing on numerous TV shows and adverts in the US and his need to create new sounds eventually yielded a new solo EP in December 2017. Continue reading

THE KING’S PARADE – Mad EP

On their 2017 EP ‘Haze’, The King’s Parade presented a seamless blend of soft rock, blues and soul which captured their myriad of influences quite succinctly. It wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea: some chided the band for being too “easy listening”, but the release gained solid support from listeners who actually understood that not everything has to be ground breaking or edgy. There’s praise enough to be given when music is played well – whatever the style – and throughout ‘Haze’, The King’s Parade truly excelled.

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Watch: The Arthur Brothers unleash new animated video for ‘Violet Hum’

On their new single, indie-pop act The Arthur Brothers have thrown everything they know into a blender and hoped for the best.   The results are fun, belwildering, catchy and annoying all at once.

The track features a few great pop hooks and some even better multi-tracked vocals on loan from Brian Wilson via Jellyfish and Eels, serves those with some solid indie jangle and even prefaces them with a near spoken vocal that’ll surely divide opinion.  It could’ve been a mess.

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THE SPECIALS – Encore

In 2008, the original Specials (minus founding member Jerry Dammers) performed at Bestival. The event was quickly heralded by fans as an amazing experience and the following year, the band embarked upon a massive tour. For many, it was the ultimate nostalgia trip; for younger fans, a very welcome – and unexpected – chance to see the band fronted by the legendary Terry Hall, something unseen since the very early 80s. Sure, the band had made albums with varying line-ups throughout the years and even put on a great live show fronted by Neville Staple in the late 90s, but the classic line up of the Specials was special for a reason. A second full tour in 2011 was captured for posterity on the double disc ‘More or Less…The Specials Live’, giving those who couldn’t make the shows in person their own chance to hear Terry “enjoying himself first”.

Most would’ve predicted the reunion would then fizzle, but over the next few years, other live shows followed. Finally, in 2018, almost a decade on from the big reunion, there were mumblings of a new album on the horizon.

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ALTHEA GRACE – Dreamers EP

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.

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