SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND?
SO many wonderful initiatives launched this week aimed at helping those affected by the unfolding crisis in Ukraine, and I’m honoured to be able to feature one of the very best in NICK HUDSON’S new single, ‘Lights/Svoboda.’
“The opening features a recording I made in Georgia, into my Soviet cassette recorder, of my 20-year-old Russian exile friend who fled to Georgia to avoid facing criminal charges for protesting Navalny’s imprisonment,” said Hudson.
“I had him say “freedom, hope and truth,” in Russian – and he’s headed to join the Ukrainian army this week.
“The song features myself on piano, voice, Soviet analogue synth, melodica and field recordings, and Kianna Blue on backing vocals and bass. Originally written for ‘The Quiet Earth’ but now uncannily and undesirably relevant.
“It’s a fundraiser for humanitarian aid in Ukraine and on ‘Bandcamp Friday,’ Bandcamp waives it’s fees, so 100% of sales will go directly to the nominated charities. After Bandcamp Friday, 100% of sales after Bandcamp has deducted its fees will be donated.
“The two charities will be ‘Red Cross Ukraine’ and ‘Razom Ukraine’ – divided equally. My bank has said they will double any donations to Red Cross Ukraine. My reasoning behind dividing donations across the two charities is they both cover slightly different areas of aid.”
LISTEN TO – AND PURCHASE – ‘LIGHTS/SVOBODA’ HERE: Lights/Svoboda | Nick Hudson (bandcamp.com)
AND Brighton-based composer, visual artist and filmmaker Hudson has also announced plans for the debut performance of his acclaimed 2021 solo album of gothic chamber ballads,’ ‘Font Of Human Fractures,’ his first UK show in two years.
Hudson will also be accompanied by collaborators from ‘The Academy Of Sun’ and ‘Claw The Thin Ice.’
Joining Hudson on the night will be ‘Alora Crucible,’ the transcendent new project from Kayo Dot’s supreme composer-alchemist Toby Driver, along with composer and songwriter, Daniel O’Sullivan, plus special guests, ‘The Seance DJs.’
This special event takes place next month under the roof of St Mary’s Church, Kemptown, Brighton.
T W O
FUSING soft, introspective lyrics with soaring guitar riffs, South-London trio SLANEY BAY have just released the majestic, ‘The Snow and The Eclipse,’ a song that may well pique the interest of fans of ‘Daughter’ and ‘The War On Drugs.’
Consisting of three childhood friends, Caitlin Whitley (lead vocals and guitar), William Nicola-Thompson (lead guitar) and Joel Martin (backing vocals and bass), Slaney Bay’s debut single, ‘Talking About You,’ garnered notable support from actor and indie-enthusiast, Robert Carlyle.
Guided by the rich tones of lead vocalist Whitley, the band have described their new release as an “introspective love song.”
“The song writing process was always geared towards getting that cinematic sound.” added guitarist, Nicola-Thompson, “where you can’t help but listen again just to try and process all that emotion.”
Learn more here: Music | Slaney Bay (bandcamp.com)
T H R E E
SHOWCASING the beautiful voice of Ciara Adamson, Irish-Dutch multi-instrumentalist NICOLAAS WALLE has released the first single, ‘This Is Me Telling You,’ from his latest album, ‘Strange Time Strange Place.’
‘Nicolaas Walle & Friends’ is a concept inspired by ideas such as the Alan Parsons Project, with Walle producing, mixing, and mastering invited artists to collaborate and contribute lyrics and vocal performances aiming to create new blends of sound.
“I’ve always loved the experimentation of prog rock, but I also wanted to make music that could connect with people easily,” he said, “so the experiment of this project is bringing many different people together to create it – the experiment is all in the collaboration, the mix of styles.”
‘This Is Me Telling You’ blends synthesised drums and keys, alongside guitar-work reminiscent of Gary Moore and Mark Knopfler. All is woven through with newcomer Adamson’s deft song writing and beautiful vocal performance.
“My Mom introduced me to Gary Moore, who is my favourite guitarist,” added Walle. “She is Irish, from Glasnevin and my Dad is Dutch. They got me a guitar when I was 10.”
“I went through a phase of rock with Foo Fighters and Van Halen before discovering Rush, whose lyrics captured my imagination and whose music astounded me and introduced me to prog rock, my all-time favourite genre since then and when I inherited my Dad’s old vinyl, I discovered Vangelis.”
Walle is logical, bright, hopeful, and seeks nothing more than to bring a variety of voices into his world via the platform his talents and skills provide.
F O U R
SOUTH-EAST London pop punk band, VAMPIRE SLUMBER PARTY take a step back in time with their cover of Natalie Imbruglia’s 1997 cheese-fest, ‘Torn.’
Featuring Closey Amy from ‘Zypmouth,’ Jess Watson on drums and band founder and frontman YUSUF LAHER, the video recently premiered on ‘Punk News.’
“I decided to cover this track out of nostalgia,” said Laher.
“Natalie Imbruglia’s version was so big when I was growing up, before Spotify and YouTube, when you kind of had to listen to what was on the radio and MTV still played music videos. So, I’ve got a lot of good memories associated with it. A lot of idealised flashbacks, before life got so complicated, it sounds like an Avril Lavigne song.
“Vampire Slumber Party is just me at the moment. I did start up a live band, had a few jams, but things didn’t work out with the drummer. I did my 2021 album ‘Funeral Pop’ all by myself during lockdown, but for this new song I got the singer from another band, ‘Zypmouth,’ to do some backup vocals and worked with another drummer.
“I’m playing an acoustic show soon, opening up a pretty cool line-up (London’s ‘New Cross Inn,’ March 20th) and I’ve got another new song ready to go, featuring the bassist I was playing with and the same drummer that’s on ‘Torn.’ The idea is to find another drummer and start playing the songs as a full band as soon as possible.
“I’ve got a new EP I want to release soon too, which features ‘Torn,’ and three originals. I should probably take a break from covers for a bit, I don’t want to turn into ‘Me First and the Gimme Gimmes,’ but I like the idea of covering R.E.M.’s, ‘It’s the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine,) seems like a song for the times…
Vampire Slumber Party’s ‘Torn,’ is now available on all streaming platforms.
VAMPIRE SLUMBER PARTY: 🦇 | Linktree
F I V E
FORMED in 2018 in St. Paul, Minnesota, WORM GRUNTER are an indie rock band consisting of Rory Troy (guitar and vocals,) Cliff Coffee (bass guitar,) and drummer, Zac Wright.
“We use the label ‘weird indie rock band’ because lyrically we delve into sci-fi subject matter as well as ‘normal’ lyrical ideas,” said founder and frontman, Troy.
“We play locally in smaller, but really cool venues around the Twin Cities (St. Paul and Minneapolis). We consider ourselves part-time journey musicians. That’s a fancy way of saying we aren’t financially able to do music full time right now.
“In October last year we released a six song EP titled, ‘Hazel Hates Drums’ which is available on Bandcamp. The record is half studio recordings and half live cuts and soon we will begin working on the follow up.”
‘Hazel Hates Drums’ is available on Bandcamp: standout track, ‘Where It All Falls Apart.’
WORM GRUNTER online: Hazel Hates Drum | Worm Grunter (bandcamp.com)
S I X
SOUTH LONDON’S EVIE ASIO returns with ‘Turning Time,’ the third and final single taken from her forthcoming album ‘Contending & Contention.’
“There aren’t that many songs about friendship breakups, and yet it is one of the most painful things someone can ever experience,” said Alt-Soul singer songwriter and producer Asio.
Asio grew up in South-East London where she used the range of musical styles around her to begin writing songs. After graduating with a BA in Music, she began her music career through releasing a series of experimental projects, including the ‘Conclusion’ EP in 2015, and her ‘Songs From Home’ YouTube series, and since then she has performed at Soho’s ‘The Spice of Life,’ Proud Camden and O2 Academy2 Islington.
‘Turning Time’ is now available on all major streaming platforms.
S E V E N
YET another slice of pure Nashville Americana dropped into the PeakyTowers mailbox last week – and although it’s not a genre we’d typically happily cover, there’s something about the new album from ELLES BAILEY that lures you in, demanding you challenge any of your previously held misconceptions.
‘Shining In The Half Light,’ the blues-ridden third album from Bristol-based Bailey, is her first to be fully recorded in the UK, with tracking completed just weeks before she gave birth to her first child.
Standout track, ‘Cheats and Liars,’ opens proceedings and is a response to those authority figures who offered no support for those working in the arts during the recent pandemic.
“Thirty-eight percent of musicians, including myself, didn’t get any kind of government funding, and some people lost everything,” explained Bailey. “It’s been so hard watching how arts has been undervalued at a time when that was what was bringing people together.”
The album features guitarist Joe Wilkins, bassist Matthew Waer, Jonny Henderson (keyboards), drummer Matthew Jones, and was recorded at Devon’s Middle Farm Studios, produced by Dan Weller (Enter Shikari.)
ELLES BAILEY online: www.ellesbailey.com
E I G H T
NOTTINGHAM’S JJ LOVEGROVE returns with another trademark tune of beauty following today’s release of ‘Better,’ a heartfelt song for our times, released in collaboration with Minus Cube.
“It’s quite difficult to know what to say, apart from maybe it is a really tricky time to be releasing music with everything going on in the world at the moment, but we also don’t want to deny expressing our feelings and emotions at this time,” said Lovegrove.
“Last Bandcamp Friday I was sending my EP to a dear friend in Kyiv and now mine and the worlds hearts are breaking watching the horrors unfold. But we have been so fortunate to receive lovely messages from people all over the world who have reached out to us after listening to our music over the past few weeks and months, including from those in Ukraine.
“It has reminded us of how powerful creativity and music can be, and how it is sometimes just what we all need at times like these, so it is with them in our hearts and that sentiment in mind we decided to release ‘Better,’ as our new single. We hope when you hear it you will know why we have decided it is the right time for this song.”
‘Better’ is currently only available via Bandcamp: Music | JJ Lovegrove (bandcamp.com)
(Fancy being featured in a future edition of ‘Something For The Weekend?’ Get in touch, tell us why and we’ll see what we can do.)