Gig Review: Joe Dolman

Featured Image: Joe Dolman 

On the evening of the 15th November, I crossed over to the Fox and Newt pub in Leeds for a relaxed folky evening with Joe Dolman, Sunflower Thieves and Amy J.

3 pints of squash later and Amy J was ready to ‘Rock The Boat’ with a beautiful set mixed with her own material and covers including Passenger’s ‘Let Her Go.’

Sunflower Thieves aka Lily and Amy mix stunning close harmonies and heartfelt lyrics in their serenely calm duo set.

It was the penultimate night of tour and Joe Dolman brought ‘Something Beautiful’ to Leeds. With a mix of old and new songs and injection of soul with a Ray Charles cover Joe delivered a pure an unforgettable night.

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EP Review: A Light That Blinds

Featured Image via Saint Raymond

Saint Raymond is finally back with a new EP, A Light That Blinds. It was completely worth the wait. 

This EP has such an incredible vibe to it. It kicks off with the infectious “Younger,” a song that anyone who has gotten that bubbly, butterflies-in-your-stomach feeling around a crush (so everyone, no point in denying it) can relate to. It’s a song to blast from a boom box while holding it over your head under said crush’s window. Okay, maybe that’s taking it a bit too far, but seriously, this song is amazing.

Next up is the sultry “Nightcrawling.” There’s a certain intensity in the imagery of this track that gives me chills. “Last Time” is a reminder that simplicity can be beautiful. The layers of vocals and guitars are mesmerizing, especially in the pre-chorus. The last song, “We Are Fire,” is nothing short of anthemic. I can easily imagine it being played in a packed arena with thousands of fans singing along. 

In short, this EP is absolutely stunning. This is undoubtedly Saint Raymond’s best work yet. I am forever grateful for the friend who said “hey, check this guy out,” because it led me to this fantastic EP.

Check out A Light That Blinds below! 

Bonus: Saint Raymond also released an alternative version of “Nightcrawling,” which is just as incredible (if not more so) than the original. Give it a listen below.

Joe Dolman Gives Us “Something Beautiful” With New Single

Featured Image via Joe Dolman

My favorite singer/songwriter, Joe Dolman, released his highly anticipated new single today. Entitled “Something Beautiful,” the track is exactly what the title suggests. This song has a bit more of a pop feel to it than his earlier work, but still has that familiar acoustic sound I’ve come to love. I’ve always admired Joe’s lyrical work, and this track is no exception. He’s captured a feeling that I’m sure many can relate to, including myself. His melodic vocals are flawless as always. All in all, this single is nothing short of amazing. 

Image via Joe Dolman

The single comes complete with a b-side, “I Think It’s Strange (Acoustic).” This song is classic Joe, nothing but his voice, an acoustic guitar and subtle hints of keys. This beautiful ballad really lets Joe’s vocals shine, raw and full of emotion. I’ll admit it gives me chills.

In short, I am forever blown away by Joe’s talent. Both of these tracks are absolutely stunning. Give them a listen below!

Joe will be embarking on a UK tour starting on November 1st! Trust me, his live gigs are not to be missed (if you’re not stuck in America like me). Check out the dates below.

Image via Joe Dolman

Coasts Release Sophomore Album “This Life, Vol. 1”

Featured Image via Coasts 

On August 18, my favorite band, Coasts, released their sophomore album titled This Life, Vol. 1. I never expected a second album this soon, as their self-titled debut was just released in January 2016. But hey, I’m not complaining. 

Image via Coasts

The Bristol boys really outdid themselves with this album. It still has the “Coasts vibe” I’ve come to love, but shows a certain maturity that separates it from their debut. They kick it off with two lighthearted tracks, “Take Me Back Home” and “Heart Starts Beating,” both of which are absolute bangers live. “Come On Over” is the perfect pop ballad to listen to on a summer’s night, but it isn’t until after this track that we hit some real emotional depth. “Let Me Love You” is by far Coasts’ most powerful track. It delves deep into the world of mental health, shedding light on a subject others often deem too dark to write about. It never fails to make me emotional. Coasts keep it slow with “Paradise,” featuring floaty background vocals that I absolutely adore. 

“Make It Out Alive” kicks off the second half of the album, and I for one cannot wait to see the energy of this track live. The driving rock of the chorus backed by Chris Caines’ epic dance moves will be a sight to behold. “Chase The Night” is yet another moving track, featuring dark imagery that evokes strong emotions. Coasts give us one more lighthearted track, “White Noise,” which gets stuck in my head entirely too often. The chorus is too catchy not to love. They finish the album with two deeper tracks, but they have completely different moods. “Tomorrow” gives a message of hope, the promise that tomorrow will be better. “Born To Die” is a heartbreaker complete with a gospel choir. I dare you not to tear up during this track. It ends the album on a solemn note, something I found to be a bit of a shock. Not a bad shock, but a shock nonetheless.

This album shows so much growth for Coasts. They dive deeper with their emotions, not just on the ballads, but also on the upbeat tracks. Not only did they step up their lyrical game, they upped their musical game as well. I can easily see these tracks moving a crowd to tears or making them jump for joy. And I’m not the only one who took note of this: the album charted at #17 in the UK, their highest ranking yet. 

Oh, how far they’ve come since “Oceans.”

Give This Life, Vol. 1 a listen here.

Now that we’ve got Vol. 1, who else is ready for a Vol. 2?!? 

Coasts This Life Vol.1 Album Review​

Featured Image: Coasts

It’s here, it’s finally here! Coasts second album This Life Vol. 1 is released today and I am absolutely loving it!

Coasts took to their social media channels at midnight last night/ this morning for a listening party. Sadly my phone battery died about 30 seconds in so all I got to hear was that the guys from Coasts went to bingo last night – as if I needed any more reason to love them.

When I first heard the singles from the new album including ‘Come On Over’ and ‘Paradise’ I thought that they had a kind of tropical sounding vibe to them yet that was bringing the party to my door.

Yet compare this to the thought-provoking and often chilling  ‘Let Me Love You’  ‘Chase The Night’ and ‘Born To Die’ you have a well-rounded album that has a more grown up feel to it, referencing topics that are often ignored to great effect.

I loved the constant surprises and curve balls that This Life threw out, I mean like can we talk about the choir in ‘Born To Die’? Totally majestic and so unexpected.

This Life Vol.1 is a revealing insight into issues that many of us face including dealing with mental health demons and highlights that (this) life is not all sunshine and daisies.

So what’s your favourite song from the new album?  I literally can’t decide, I love them all but at a push, I’d have to say from the  singles: ‘Take Me Back Home’ ‘Heart Starts Beating’ (affectionately  known as High Stakes Blackjack) and from the newer songs ‘Born To Die’ and ‘Make It Out Alive’.

I took to Twitter to see what other people’s faves were:

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This Life Vol. 1 charts at No.14 in the iTunes Alternative Album Chart and people of the UK can look forward to Coasts epic 38 date tour in September/October.

I obviously can’t tell you which dates I’m going to (because the guys might find out and that would ruin the surprise of randomly turning up)

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Give This Life Vol.1 a cheeky listen here.

Mulàn’s Newest Single Is “Pure” Bliss

Featured Image via Mulàn

Mysterious band Mulàn are back at it again with their newest single “Pure.” Despite this being their third release, we still don’t know anything about this band. And I mean we know nothing. But that’s okay, because Mulàn are letting their music do the talking and it says more than enough.

This track delivers exactly what I’ve come to expect from a Mulàn song: an attention-grabbing intro, sultry vocals and luscious synth. While it does contain these similar elements, each Mulàn song still remains completely unique. “Pure” has a lighter feel than its predecessors, very floaty and mellow, making it the perfect track to relax to during these hot summer days.

Check out “Pure” below! 

Album Review: Sacred Hearts Club by Foster The People

Featured Image via Foster The People

Foster The People released their third album, Sacred Hearts Club, last week. I had heard a few tracks ahead of its release, leaving me uncertain of how I would feel about the album. “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” completely shocked me. This wasn’t the FTP I was used to. When the album dropped in full, I listened to it apprehensively.

Sometimes things just don’t click on the first listen. If you’re in a bad mood or sleepy or just not in the right headspace, it can be hard to truly appreciate something. I found this was the case with the tracks I had previously heard. And within the full album, everything fell perfectly into place. The bright chorus of “Pay The Man,” the happy pop feel of “Static Space Lover,” the driving rock beat of “Lotus Eater.” There are too many amazing musical moments on this album to mention. Then you have the lyrical genius that is Mark Foster. His lyrics are moving, introspective, catchy and clever. He can move you to tears on one track only to have you smiling at the next.

This album has taught me to always be willing to give things a second chance. If I had judged it solely off of the brief snippet of “Loyal Like Sid & Nancy” (which I now find to be a total bop) I had heard and not given the whole album a chance, I would have missed out on something truly incredible.

My top 5 tracks (in no particular order):

  1. “Pay The Man”
  2. “Sit Next To Me”
  3. “I Love My Friends”
  4. “Static Space Lover”
  5. “Lotus Eater”

Check out Sacred Hearts Club below!