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Video a week on patreon.com

Hi and happy new year beloved folkies!

A new feature for 2017 is the Martin Dale patreon page at:

https://www.patreon.com/martindale

Here you can see live performances of songs, background info about the songs, thoughts about new songs and much more.  Better still, it’s an interactive experience – you can tell me what you think, ask me questions, make requests or say whatever you feel like to me!  I’ll reply to every post.

It’s launched today (1st January 2017) and there will be a new video (plus background info video) every Sunday come rain or shine, as well as bonus recordings, musings, song sketches etc.

Click the buttons and become part of it.  You know you want to!

new discoveries

Newly discovered favourites:

Robert Ellis – what a guitarist!  Almost makes me love country music

Phil Ochs – I completely missed him until now, despite him being a big name in the protest song and folk world that I grew up with.  Now newly discovered his songs 30 years after his death.

The Felice Brothers – I know nothing about them, but the songs I’ve heard sound fab.

Damien Jurado –  Music to melt to!

The Leylines – They sound almost identical to the Levellers, which is a shame, but do it very well.

Guest Post from guest blogger Jessica Kane

5 New Indie Musicians to Listen to Today

It can be hard to keep up with the constant influx of great indie music, especially in the age of Soundcloud and self-released albums. This list is a quick curated look at some underground indie groups with serious musical chops. Give it a listen.

Soto Voce

Indie group Soto Voce just released this single that sounds like a retro futuristic take on Radiohead. This incredible new duo is fusing retro influences with contemporary production to create a modern yet timeless sound. There is rumored to by an ep recording by the group, hopefully we’ll be seeing that on the web soon. This tune will definitely be making it into a variety of summer playlists. 

Sam-o

Sam-o is a bedroom pop project from Samuel Moore, a Texas teen with a penchant for lush sound design and captivating song structures. While his soundcloud only has a few tracks, this young man shows a ton of potential and lots of charm. His sound combines rich chords, hushed drums and incredible vocals, all fused together in a lo-fi high-brow package. Sam-o combines these rich sounds into tracks that sound painfully nostalgic, fleeting and reminiscent of fragile memories just out of reach. 

Elvis Depressedly

Elvis Depressedly is a band from North Carolina, churning out broody tunes for feeling good about feeling bad. These melancholy tunes are perfectly at home for an introvert’s houseparty, smoking cigarettes in the dark on a first date, or staring into someone’s eyes. They have released a few eps and have yet to see mainstream acclaim, but their sound is moving and powerful, while still keeping a soft, acoustic feel. Solo tracks on this album are incredibly soft and introverted, yet muffled and distant. Tracks featuring full band instrumentation resonate and vibrate fiercely, yet the charming lo-fi quality of the album keeps things mellow and relaxed. 

Radio Citizen

Radio Citizen is an incredibly forward-thinking german project that combines retro grooves and samples with soulful live instrumentation and a hybrid of sample based and live jazz drumming. They feature a selection of live recordings that showcase their sound. Their style is too complex to pin down with any one genre, but these tracks will appeal to fans of soulful house music, hushed jazz, inspired guitars and swung grooves. Their free flowing songs are elegant and nostalgic, channeling a Miles Davis cool while distancing themselves from the source material. Don’t miss this one for relaxed, extended mixes. 

MINKS

MINKS is another retro futuristic throwback production with tight drum patterns, rich synthesizer melodies and crisp processed vocals. This video showcases their unique aesthetic. Fans of Starfucker, New Order and the Smiths will definitely enjoy their clean and catchy hooks and phrases. The video is also an excellent companion to the track, further adding to the video with weathered, weary footage, likely shot on tape. The production style incorporates spooky drones and pads, reverbed out percussive hits, and a smeared, ethereal vocal style. Appropriate tunes for laying in the sun, hitting the beach, or driving at night. Getting lost in these warm, comforting tracks is easy.

Jessica Kane is a music connoisseur and an avid record collector. She currently writes for SoundStage Direct, her go-to place for all turntables and vinyl equipment, including VPI Turntables.

Who’s new?

New sounds to my ears this week:

John Grant.  Listen to Grey tickles black pleasure – fabulous album.  I missed out on the Czars, but remember “Queen of Denmark” coming out, but somehow never really gave it a listen.  The new album is brilliant, so I’ll be going back over the others over the next couple of days.

Joel Plaskett Emergency.  Discovered during a random click around on a Spotify playlist.  If the rest of the material lives up to the standard set by Fashionable People I will officially be a fan.

Monday’s recomendation

Was introduced yesterday to an album by Jarlath Henderson – a former BBC young musician of the year and part a duo with fellow piper Ross Ainslie – called Hearts Broken, Heads Turned.  A tasty collection of traditional songs (mostly I think from the northern part of Ireland).  Not as much piping as you’d expect, but a great voice and a really well made album.

Other top tip (for something completely different) is Thao and The Get Down Stay Down.

Have a fabulous week!

What I’ve been listening to

Acts I didn’t know last week that I’m glad I know of now:

Jim Causley: Ok I knew of him, but hadn’t knowingly heard any of his solo stuff before.  Hugely talented bloke and from the West Country!

And the absolute highlight of the week: Jamie Smith’s Mabon.  This is the band I most want to be in in the world.  Folky dance stuff performed brilliantly on accordian, fiddle and bouzouki with a mega hot rhythm section.  Love it.

I play vinyl every now and then, and occasionally CD’s but most of what I hear these days I hear on Spotify.  Even when I have the album in my collection.  This is because I listen to a lot of new music and Spotify is a great way of finding new stuff, and accessing almost everything else – without me even having to get my arse up off the sofa.  I usually buy the CD’s of artists I really like that I find on Spotify – I recommend that others do to…artists get very little from streaming plays and need album sales to survive and make new music.  But follow me on Spotify if you want to find out what I’m listening to.  You can find my music there too of course!

Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party – Old Adam

This week’s recommended album: Fay Hield and the Hurricane Party – Old Adam

To capture so perfectly all the details and nuances of a bunch of acoustic instruments is a feat for which we have to take our collective hats off to Andy Bell, producer of the first Fay Hield album since the terrific Full English project.

But a great sound alone makes not a great album.  Next up the musicians:  Some of the top heavyweights of the current folk scene – Sam Sweeny, John Boden, Martin Simpson, and I’m going to have to add to these category Ben Nicholls, who I saw with Kings of the South Seas, singing and playing concertina, last year, not realising he was the bassist in, amongst others, the Full English.  His double bass playing on Old Adam is stunning, particularly on the opening track. Rob Harbron, Roger Wilson and Toby Kearney all play fabulously too.

Add to this the ever able singing of Fay Hield herself, and an excellent selection of songs – varied in style, mood and content.  All in all a terrific album, and so far album of the year…although it is only February.