Harmony Byrne – ‘Good Idea’

Every now and then you come across a song so tantalising that it stops us in dead in our tracks, instantly demanding your complete and undivided attention. Well, one such track is new single from Australian Singer-songwriter Harmony Byrne.

‘Good Idea’ is the latest single lifted from Byrne’s forthcoming debut LP, Heavy Doors, due to arrive this spring. It is a deeply moving and intimate country-tinged folk song, Byrne depicts a realistic scene of everyday issues, while a steady guitar strum intertwined with a slow-burning waltz makes for a hypnotic and stimulating five-minutes plus. The distant wane of a steel guitar, the lilting, rich vocals and genuine emotion bursting from the speakers; ‘Good Idea’ transmits something you just can’t find elsewhere – it is on another level altogether.

Tune into ‘Good Idea’ below and keep an eye out for debut LP, Heavy Doors.

Tiphanie Doucet – ‘Under my Sun’ (bi-lingual version)

Tiphanie Doucet is a French singer-songwriter based in New York, singing and writing elegant, tender and mellow folk songs.

In August 2018, Doucet released her debut album Under My Sun – produced by Simone Felice and David Baron – and led by the beautiful single and title-track ‘Under my Sun’. Today, we are concerned with a reworked, re-imagined and bi-lingual version of the single. A song about growth, self discovery, and maintaining a positive outlook throughout life’s tribulations, filled with calming, undulating instrumentation, it tips and skips along a gentle strum and muffled snare, taking us on a pastoral journey through a world of lovely rich folk pop. Beginning in English before sliding to French, Doucet’s dreamy vocal is a revelation both beautifully calm and majestic, it works in perfect harmony with the acoustic driven, melodic and deeply rich folk sounds that reveals Doucet a master of style.

Listen to ‘Under my Sun’ below – it is divine.

Victoria Bigelow – ‘To Everyone I’ve Loved Before’

Following on from her debut EP Going Blue, Nashville singer-songwriter Victoria Bigelow has returned with a new single ‘To Everyone I’ve Loved Before’.

Bigelow’s latest offering is patient, vulnerable and potent as she reflects on past mistakes and lost love with honesty. ‘To Everyone I’ve Loved Before’ is a stunning and beautiful piece of heart-aching indie-pop, it bobs along a woozy, retro-tinged waltz while Bigelow’s hushed, smokey voice strikes a reflective tone, channelling her deepest emotions. ‘To Everyone I’ve Loved Before’ swells with each passing verse, from minimal opening arrangements of gently pulsating keys and sparse percussion to a rousing, rich and layered climax, all made more palatable on transition by the  light and woozy strings easing the track softly to life, with an Americana-tinged hum.

A sublime single, listen to it below: 

Arema Arega – ‘Wherever You Are’

Arema Arega is a Barcelona-based Cuban singer-songwriter whose lush and soulful sound is marked by touches of Blues, Bossa Nova, Jazz, Folk, Funk and electronica, and of course, the tropical influence of her homeland.

Arega already has a number records to her name – The Red Soundtracks, The Blue Soundtracks: The Light Seekers Journey and some singles / EP – all part of an ever developing project which sees her craft scores for imaginary films. Arega’s latest single ‘Wherever You Are’ is very much of the same variety; slick, smooth and cinematic, marrying lush tones with seductive grooves. It is a record of of breath-taking beauty as smooth, soul-filled vocals flow above while percussive rhythms bubble away amid the smokey noir atmosphere, sweeping sumptuous strings and peppered by brass and flutters of flutes. A seductive, cinematic and evocative song tempered by an otherworldly quality, deliciously retro vibe and rich, smoky vocals – a grandiose soundtrack to the movie that never was.

Listen in below:

Ardentjohn – ‘I Wasn’t There’

Ardentjohn originally formed in Edinburgh but now it’s membership – Mark Abbott (lead guitar), Seth Marron (drums/percussion), Keiron Mason (vocals/guitar), Alan Shields (vocals/bass) and Linda Tym (cello/vocals) – are scattered far and wide.

Perhaps this dispersal was a catalyst, or at least assisted, in creating the rich vein of longing and melancholy to be mined from their latest album Malin Head; a tribute to the sense of heartache many an Irish person experienced leaving their friends, family and homeland behind. The album, melancholic and mournful as it maybe, it is a beautiful and moving experience filled with timeless songs marked with heart, soul and an ear for melody. The rich and earthy latest single ‘I Wasn’t There’ is a perfect example of their wares. As a softly hushed croon rolls in tandem with dripping melody, it is nigh on impossible to resist the sweet and beautiful harmonic pairing, as the gentle acoustic strums illuminate their tender song-writing, bound by a sense of yearning and longing, depicted with vivid storytelling draped with hushed lilting vocals. Passing with a whisper rather than a roar, it is a charming, rich and moving folky vibes delivered with warmth and confidence.

Listen to ‘I Wasn’t There’ below now – and the album Malin Head, is available here.

Adam Melchor – ‘I Choose You’

Adam Melchor is a Jersey-born, Los Angeles-based singer/songwriter with a penchant for rich, melodic and heartfelt old-fashioned pop songs.

On his Plan on You EP, released earlier this year, Melchor displayed a knack for atmospheric dreamy folk-pop and he is back, signing off for 2019 with another alluring pop song ‘I Choose You’. While the folk ingredients remain, Melchor has braided more pop into the mix than before, delivering a colourful confection of sweet and charming ear-worm pop. Melchor’s verses bob along the skipping rhythms, playful percussion and jangly guitar and all sewn together with sinuous melodies – an unshakable blend.

A wonderful, charming single to sign off on – listen to ‘I Choose You’ below:


Bad Flamingo – ‘Open the Gates’

Masked musical duo Bad Flamingo introduced their desert drenched, woozy Americana sounds with album I Said a Prayer Twice for Both My Faces, and companion singles last year – and as the adage goes, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Their latest single ‘Open the Gates’ another warm, woozy western slowburner. It is assured and somewhat dangerous as it swaggers along a muted guitar riff with soft, subtle drums and rolling bassline in the background, as the lead vocals claw their way through the layers of woozy, smokey atmosphere. Amid this sparse, desert drenched sound Bad Flamingo strike a balance between stomp and finesse as the combined seductive power of rhythmic, bluesy swagger and exquisite pop harmonies reels you in.

Listen to ‘Open the Gates’ below now:

Simple Kid shares new tracks: ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’

Longstanding patrons will be aware of my adoration for Simple Kid, albeit not offering many opportunities to display it regularly.

The London-based Irish artist (aka Ciaran McFeely) released two brilliant albums in the mid 00s – SK1 in 2003 and SK2 in 2006 – before entering a prolonged period of musical hibernation, disappearing off the radar, only to reappear briefly here and there with ‘The Road’ in 2011, ‘Snakes and Ladders’ in 2014 and ‘Because’ late in 2018.

However, since the latter, his YouTube account has seen something of a flurry of activity and uploads including ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’; which coincidentally are (IMO) the pick of the new material.

‘The Last Bus Home’ is a deliciously infectious and richly melodic blend of folky indie, with country and Americana brushstrokes. A gentle acoustic strum, hand claps and harmonica coalesce in perfect harmony, with warm vocals completing the loveable, swelling, heartfelt allure. ‘Lost in Space’ is the more complex of the pair as lush layers of psych-tones, spacey sounds and cosmic textures swell and swirl to engulf the delicious piano-led melody. Mining brilliant streams of melody and heavenly harmonies it is a roving, hazy and cosmic adventure that swells to beautifully epic climax. With its gorgeous melody, irresistible chorus, blend of guitar and frazzled electronics, and swelling emotion, ‘Lost in Space’ is not easily forgotten. Two differing (but equally stunning) sides to the talents of Simple Kid bound together by an undisputed ear for melody.

While not discounting something more substantial in the future, for now Simple Kid is enjoying crafting new songs in his loft – fingers crossed this fruitful period continues to blossom.

Listen to both ‘The Last Bus Home’ & ‘Lost in Space’ below, and you can listen to the man himself chatting to Dan Hegarty here.

And credit where credit is due: H/T to Dan Hegarty’s ‘The Alternative’ on 2FM & John Barker’s ‘Totally Irish’ on 98FM.

Caoilfhionn Rose – ‘Being Human’

Caoilfhionn Rose is a singer, songwriter and producer from Manchester who came to our attention with the release of her exquisite debut album Awaken last year.

One of 2018’s finest discoveries, Rose’s sound draws from a deep well of folk, psychedelia and subtle electronica influences, ranging from The Mummers, to Rachel Sermanni, Melody’s Echo Chamber and Broadcast, she produces her own unique brand of beautiful, expansive, fragile and experimental psych-folk. Rose is back with a new single ‘Being Human’, the latest lifted from her debut, it is a perfect encapsulation of her exquisite sound. Shrouded in a mystic aura, it is an elegant, awe-inspiring and charming blend of pastoral psych-folk as a trickle of keys, delicate strings and warm vocals create a hazy, soothing and swirling and effervescent psych-folk. It is calm, at peace and positive as the elegant production and bewitching atmospheric tones combine to transfix entirely – not a bad place to be captive.

‘Being Human’ is below along with its visual companion, filmed in Fletcher Moss Park. The album is just as beautiful an affair – listen to it here.

Simen Mitlid – ‘Football’

Simen Mitlid is a Norwegian singer-songwriter hailing from the woodlands of Os, who has a precocious talent for lush, Nordic indie-folk.

Mitlid will follow-up his wonderfully charming 2017 debut LP, Everything is the Same with new album Neutral, in September. Having drip feed us tracks over the past six months or so – ‘Saturdays’, ‘Tell Me Everything’ & ‘Trying’ – he has gifted us another treat in the shape of ‘Football’. It is a charming indie folk ballad about the difficulties of loving the sport you can’t play. A gentle and heartwarming ditty brimming with quirky melodies, laid back and easy going arrangements. It is an effortlessly cool and breezy sound tempered by a wistful melancholy. As always, as beautiful and elegant as the backdrop is, it is Mitlid’s hushed voice, imbued with warmth, that is wholly irresistible.

Yet another lush bout of divine indie-folk – all is looking rather grand for his new album come September.

Tune into ‘Football’ below: