Earlier in 2017, Americana/pop duo Ferris & Sylvester released their debut, ‘The Yellow Line’ EP. Its songs mixed pop sensibilities with an old fashioned singer-songwriter mentality and was well worth hearing, especially for those looking for a less country alternative to Lewis & Leigh.
Billy Bragg has never been shy of voicing a political opinion. However, the collection of songs that makes up the 2017 EP ‘Bridges Not Walls’ might just find the singer-songwriter at his most consistently outspoken since 1988’s ‘Worker’s Playtime’. His overtly political stance isn’t without good reason, of course; following his album and tour with US folk musician Joe Henry, the world took a huge turn for the worse. In June 2016, the UK held a referendum on our position within the European Union. With the result favouring those who wanted to leave, the outcome seemed to be the ultimate gesture in cutting off the country’s nose to save face. A few months later, America voted in a new President – a man with absolutely no prior political experience – and the country slowly and painfully began to disintegrate. Both of these subjects colour these five songs to a great extent, and with Billy – often the voice of a questioning contempt – it’s a very interesting listen.
‘Hey Mr Cowboy’ is a dark and haunting tune that is arguably the most striking number on Charlotte Carpenter’s upcoming EP. In keeping with the unsettling sounds, the new video clip also has a somewhat uneasy quality, which Charlotte explains:
Charlotte Carpenter’s 2016 release ‘How Are We Ever To Know?‘ was a deeply personal selection of songs that showed the British singer-songwriter unashamedly exorcising some emotional demons. The nature of the material didn’t always make it an entirely comfortable listen, but it was more than obvious Carpenter had a huge talent. The following year’s ‘Shelter’ brings more personal issues to the table, but tempers the hurt with more of a varied musical style.
At the end of Summer 2017, UK singer songwriter Amy Lawton premiered her debut single ‘Undone’. The track showed the young musician’s knack for breezy pop with acoustic undertones. resulting in a feelgood track that mixed elements of Maria Mena and Amy MacDonald.