SOMETHING FOR THE WEEKEND?
AVAILABLE now to pre-order via their Bandcamp site – the self-titled debut album from GABRIEL’S DAWN.
Calling forth – and dripping with images – of West Coast beaches, endless summer days and caught on the breeze scents of citrus and apple blossom, their sound unmistakably has its origins in the 60’s, but is undoubtedly heading for a golden future.
Brought together through a shared love of melodic pop, jangly guitars and classic song writing, the Midlands (Leicester and Newcastle Under Lyme) band consists of Gudg (vocals), Fran Feely (bass), Leon Jones (guitar) and Stuart Gray (keys).
“Our aim from the start was to make a classic album,” explained Feely. “Something we’d be proud of and something we hope will stand the test of time. So, we didn’t want to rush anything. With no option of gigs during lockdown and no real anticipation towards us in terms of releases, there was no pressure on us, so we took our time to get the sound we wanted.
“And I prefer people to listen to the lyric’s and interpret it the way it relates to them. It’s no secret ‘Loose Canyon’ for example is about yearning for a different time and place but I wouldn’t necessarily say it was written with lockdown in mind. It was more a general feeling I have. But other songs cover love, loss and even people’s attitude to creating music.”
The album was recorded and mixed by band member Jones at his studio in Stoke-on-Trent.
“There was temptation to farm out the mixing to someone else,” he said. “However, as we were recording during lockdown and had no real deadline, I felt I wanted to have a crack at it. The obvious bonus is it was cheap but in addition it was good to have total control. I’ve had input from the rest of the band and we’re all very on point to the sound we wanted.”
Initially scheduled for release last year, the album finally arrives on Monday, May 30th.
“We had our hearts set on a Spring/Summer release and the romantic notion of the album blasting out of car stereos up and down the Sunset Strip, but I appreciate it’s more likely to be on the M1 pissing it down, but you gotta dream! Anyway, when things got delayed and a Summer 2021 release slipped out our grasp, we thought we might as well take our time and get it out for Summer 2022,” added Gray.
But despite that clear 60’s vibe, there’s far more to Gabriel’s Wharf than the sound of the surf as Feely is quick to point out, “We are all massive fans of 60’s culture, music, films, art and fashion, but that’s not to say we are stuck in that time period. Although we are all fans of UK 60’s bands, The Beatles, Stones, Pretty Things, Kinks and the UK psych and freakbeat scenes, we all agree US bands of that time appeal to us more.
“The Byrds, Love, Buffalo Springfield being the obvious ones but also bands like The Merry Go Round, The Beau Brummels and Penny Arkade. We also love The Monkees.
“However, we follow that stem of music through the late 60’s, early 70’s country rock scene, into the 80’s Paisley Underground bands, melodic UK bands like The La’s, the Stone Roses, Teenage Fanclub, and into the 2000’s with bands like The Coral, El Goodo and The Stands.”
The album also features guest backing vocals from Robyn Gibson, formerly of The Junipers and currently Hot Toddy, and Phil Mason who was band mates with guitarist Jones in Alfa 9.
Currently without a drummer, the band do not expect to appear live before the album’s scheduled vinyl release, tentatively pencilled in for October.
For further details – and to pre-order -see here:
T W O
ALTERNATIVE indie-folk, singer-songwriter PIO HARTNETT from Galway, Ireland, has released his latest single, ‘Grand Prix,’ a beautiful ballad, tailor-made for this summer’s approaching long, glorious, carefree, road trips, “Stealing hope from the streetlights, Dodging your soul, Dodging your demons.”
The song was written with Hartnett reminiscing about a summer when his mother sent him and his sister to extra Irish lessons.
“Being away from my school environment, and what people thought of me in my hometown, was really freeing,” he said. “I remember this cool girl, and the shocking realization that she could actually like me.
“Going to a new place, or meeting someone who has this power to inspire something in you – that helps me find something new and go into another gear. So, it’s about that in a way.”
Hartnett has recently formed a band with nine members in order to help realise his ambitious vocal arrangements and is currently putting the finishing touches on a story-driven debut EP, set for a summer release.
Grand Prix is written by Pio Hartnett, with additional production, mixing and mastering from Zak Higgins.
T H R E E
FROM Birmingham’s troubadour JOE PEACOCK, comes another of his trademark deep, dark, truthful and intelligent numbers ‘100 Doors,’ this time centred around the legend of Cumaean Sibyl.
And as you may have already fathomed, this is no ordinary song.
“Lyrically, it’s about seeking answers and trying to take lessons from the past in order to understand what’s happening, or what you should be doing now better,” explained Peacock.
“If you’ve listened to my other songs, you’ll get why that’s something relevant to me. I love looking at historical figures and events and finding either positive or negative things we can learn from them.
“I read about the Cumaean Sibyl, who is one of the most famous prophetesses of ancient legend and I really liked the poetic nature of her story, so I took that idea and based the song around it. The desire for someone to be able to give prophecies is still strong these days, as you can see in horoscopes, palm readings and all other kinds of popular, but not particularly reliable, methods of predicting the future.”
There’s an intriguing hint of David Bowie lurking within the song, perhaps not immediately apparent, but it’s there. Somewhere. Appropriately haunting us from afar.
“In terms of being compared to Bowie, obviously that’s a massive compliment for any solo artist. For anyone to find something in my song writing that’s up to his standards is quite humbling. I want to be the sort of artist who’s constantly surprising people, so he’s a great example of that. I also love artists like Beck, Sufjan Stevens and PJ Harvey, who never stand still and are constantly trying different things.”
For his latest single Peacock struck out alone, having decided against using previous producer, Joe Adhemar.
“I had an offer of some mixing and mastering from Palstar Records, so sent them the stems. Rob Maina who worked on it, improved the levels to make sure it sounded professional. Unlike when I worked with Joe Adhemar on my last album, nobody has made any major changes to the song from what I created this time, so the sound and arrangement is all down to me, and I hope it gets as good a response as the last album.
“Self-producing is a bit of a risk, but I need to develop my skills and find a way of doing all this stuff for myself, because paying someone to do it currently means being out of pocket, and unless I become better at selling my work and finding a way to make enough money from that to cover those costs, I will be self-producing most of my songs.
“The biggest problem with self-producing is that you don’t have someone else sense-checking what you’re doing and providing a critical ear, bringing some balance to the work. I have been involving some friends and Twitter followers in helping me to select singles and which songs to drop from the upcoming album. My biggest issue is trying to look critically at my own work, because I invest a lot into every song I write and find it difficult to bin them unless someone’s quite brutally honest about telling me to do so.
“I have enough songs written for three albums. The rocky guitar album is sounding good, but I wanted to put something a bit different out first, so I’m going for an electronic album, full of synth led songs. I am excited to see what people think of it. I’ll also be working with another singer and fiddle player on an acoustic album later this year, so there’s lots going on in my little musical world. Exciting times are ahead, just don’t expect me to tell you exactly what’s going to happen.”
‘100 Doors’ has a clear, uncomplicated sound, bright, flowing. But why are we kept waiting for that guitar solo? That’s a move few musicians would have the courage to pull off, something akin to opening an album with your weakest song, but it’s a classic bold, Peacock play.
The priestess and prophet of the song was forced to live for generations until only her voice remained – and now it all begins to make sense.
F O U R
‘POEMS FROM MARS’ is the debut album from Brighton-based grunge outfit, TORRID (A Love Affair).
With grunge and stoner rock influences from Seether, Queens of the Stone Age and Alice in Chains, they claim to produce songs full of semi-autobiographical themes.
And I genuinely wanted to fall in love with them, to champion them, to claim them as my own.
But, but I’m just not convinced. At times they look – and sound – like a hobby band, not one that are united in laying bare some of their past, personal experiences.
It’s all a tad predictable, cliched even.
Take me home. Please.
‘Poems From Mars’ is now available via Bandcamp: Music | Torrid (A Love Affair) (bandcamp.com)
F I V E
FROM England’s South Coast, comes FABLE and her latest song, ‘Shame,’ and oh dear God, please let this madness end.
Another week, another submission from an artist labelled elsewhere as a, “new sensation.”
Only it’s just not true. And there’s no shame it that at all, but when an artist receives more comment about their accompanying video rather than the song, can that ever be a good thing? Perhaps. Perhaps not.
And all things considered, my suggestion would be to listen to ‘Shame’ without watching the video, you’ll appreciate the song it more. In fact,the less said about the video the better. Sometimes we curse MTV – this is one of those occasions.
As somebody once said, “I’m gonna see how this works out, but I think it’s a bad idea.”
Learn more about FABLE and judge for yourselves: Music | Fable (bandcamp.com)
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