Introducing: Nia Wyn

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It’s never a bad day when you discover a precocious music talent, especially when it’s going to fill a soulful void in your life.

With that in mind, open yourself to the powerful, raw and soulful sounds of London-based North-Walian artist, Nia Wyn. Wyn has a canny ability for raw and powerful storytelling, set within a kind of unorthodox, rich and engrossing vocal, it immediately marks her out as something rather refreshing. She introduced herself with stunning, folk-tinged blues debut, ‘Help Me’, and actually goes one better with latest single, ‘Do You Love Enough’. The music, as with her voice, channels old blues and soul with a modern twist. These are timeless tales of broken hearts at home and in society, told with her unique and powerful voice. Both singles conjure up a very exciting, defiant charisma that’s simultaneously streetwise, witty, hard and warm. A unique and captivating talent, and one to keep your eye on this year, and beyond, for sure.

A debut EP is in the pipeline for a June release, so keep an eye out for that in the coming weeks. In the meantime, make sure and check out ‘Do You Love Enough’ & ‘Help Me’ below.

Something for the Weekend: New Music Playlist #6

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A new feature to blog, a short weekly Spotify playlist series featuring some of the finest new music to prick my ears.

Clocking in or around and hour, it’s an easily digestible slice of new music, just in time for the weekend. There’s a nice mix of genres and styles too, allowing me to share even more top tunes for your ears. Well, without further ado, here’s #6. Enjoy!

Johnny Feeney’s Albums of 2016

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Better late than never, Johnny Feeney would like to share his favourite records from 2016 with you all.

A reliably insightful musical sage, Johnny’s guest appearances are always interesting and add an extra flavour to the blog and I look forward to reading them – surely I’m not alone?

A massive thanks to Johnny for taking time out to compile this list, and on that note, I’ll leave you with his Mr. Feeney’s favourite records of 2016.

10. Laura Mvula – ‘The Dreaming Room’

The Birmingham soul singer’s second studio album comes densely packed with layers of Mvula’s unique vocals and a broad range of sounds and influences, including lead single ‘Overcome’ featuring Nile Rodgers. Despite not always hitting the mark, there are some powerful, intriguing tracks on here. Really needs to be played at a high volume to give everything a chance to be heard.

09. Car Seat Headrest – ‘Teens Of Denial’

Virginia’s Will Toledo has been releasing albums prolifically as Car Seat Headrest for a few years now but this is only his second full release on a major label. Seriously overlong at almost 70 minutes, the album has the capacity to absolutely blow you away with cracking rock songs such as ‘Fill In The Blanks’ or ‘Drunk Drivers / Killer Whales’. The more you listen to it, the better it gets.

08. Hinds – ‘Leave Me Alone’

The debut album from this Madrid all-girl four-piece is a joyous, upbeat lo-fi indie rock affair. There’s a neat trick performed here with the loose, ramshackle guitars and lazy, loose drums in stark contrast with the tightness of the hook-laden, impossibly infectious songs – and the sound of a band having a lot of fun and not taking themselves too seriously.

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Fold Return With New Single ‘Something Gives’

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Experimental Hip-Hop/Trip Hop outfit Fold have solid credentials when it comes to producing incredible music. Blending this enviable creativity with a social consciousness, they create something powerful and unique.

Fold have returned with their first new material since last year’s superb self-titled debut album. The new single is called ‘Something Gives’ and will be released on September 12 via Bandcamp. The Leeds based quartet felt compelled to respond, somehow, to the heavy sociopolitical escalations of late on both sides of the pond. This breezy, easy on the ears slice of fresh, jazzy hip-hop, is their way of bridging the distances & expressing universal solidarity as human beings. Essentially a vehicle for the eloquence of James Baldwin whose voice, along with that of Alice Walker, is the basis of the track; which is dedicated to the memory of James Baldwin and all that he articulated so beautifully. Fold don’t ever disappoint, and they ain’t about to start now. Absolutely stunning work from one of the most unique and exciting acts around.

‘Something Gives’ will be out on September 12 via Bandcamp. Until then, you can familiarise yourself with it below.

Farewell Vancouver: Vancouver Connection Playlist

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After a couple of extremely fun years, my time in Canada is drawing to a close. As well as taking away no end of fond memories from Canada’s west coast, there is also a long, long list of local musical discoveries.

So, with that in mind and the impending return to Ireland, I decided to create a playlist of some of my very favourite artists/musical discoveries from Vancouver (and the surrounding areas). If nothing else, it will offer a taste of what this part of the world has to offer musically. Included among the 66 strong list are regulars on the blog and podcast, the likes of Kinship, Mesa Luna, Avid Walker, Bousada, The Orange Kyte, Supermoon, Soft Serve, Danny Diggs, Faith Healer, Project Pablo and more. Hopefully you enjoy the tunes as much as I do and it keeps you ticking over till the returns to normal service, once everything is settled after the move.

On that note, I shall leave you with the finest music BC has to offer.

Millions Like Us Podcast – Episode 11

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We’re thrilled to share yet another Millions Like Us podcast with you all. It’s great to back with the latest in a series of music podcasts hosted by Justin & I, in conjunction with Vancouver news & culture site 604now.

On a bi-weekly basis we aim to please, providing  some lively and entertaining chat and eclectic selection of fabulous music from metro Vancouver and elsewhere. There’s plenty in there, well over an hour in fact, of great tunes and plenty of chat.

You can read more on it over here and of course, listen below (and the tracklist (with links) is after the jump too). You can subscribe to ‘Millions Like Us’ on iTunes & Podcast Republic or find us on Facebook & Twitter. Or you can email us at millionslikeuspodcast[at]gmail[dot]com.

2016 has been good to us so far, so thanks for all the support thus far and once again, thanks for listening! And last but not least, thanks to Caroline for the image.

Episode #11 Tracklist:

The School – ‘Do I Love You’

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Cardiff’s resplendent pop purveyors, The School have a new album coming, entitled Wasting Away and Wondering, it’s out September 4th on Elefant Records.

Ahead of their new album, The School have shared with us, new single ‘Do I Love You?’. It’s superlative Northern Soul inspired indie pop flavours. A timeless pop earworm, it’s bright, breezy and irresistibly catchy, blending a joyous and colourful explosion of soulful chimes with Liz Hunt’s light-as-air angelic tones. A rich and gorgeous sound, the Welsh indie-pop makers remind us exactly what it is they do so very, very well – and why we should be getting excited for the new record. Marvellous as usual.

The new LP, Wasting Away and Wondering is out September 4th Elefant Records. ‘Do I Love You?’ however, is out now and you can sample it’s delights below, or pop over here for a free download.

BarryGruff’s Playlist February 2015

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A new monthly feature to the blog, a nice, neat and handy playlist of tracks featured during the month.

It was a pretty good month to be fair. There was the return of Joanna Gruesome, Novella, Coves and Akala, with new tracks ahead of their respective albums, and new singles from Du Blonde, Foreign/National, Freedom Fry & Rozi Plain. Not to forget the huge news of a new album from Blur and last but not least, the return of Super Furry Animals. Also featuring on the playlist are: Public Service Broadcasting, TRWBADOR, The Courtneys, SALES, The Earth & Benihana.

Listen to BarryGruff’s February 2015 playlist below. The full track listing is after the jump.

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Yasiin Gaye – ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man (Soul Mates Remix)’

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Yasiin Gaye is the latest project of Amerigo Gazaway, formerly operating under the Gummy Soul guise and the brains behind the Fela Soul mixtape/mashup albums, and one of an elite few who’s done mash ups justice.

Gazaway’s latest project unites rapper Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) and soul legend Marvin Gaye for a dream collaboration. Carefully weaving Bey’s dense raps and Gaye’s soulful vocals over his new arrangements, he’s aiming for a quality far closer to Gaye’s famous duets than that of a mere ‘mashup’ album. ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man’ is a hugely impressive prelude; taking one part Yasiin Bey in the form of ‘Travellin’ Man’ and one part Marvin Gaye in the form of ‘Innercity Blues’, put them together and you’ve got ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man’. This is apparently the first installment of a whole new series called ‘Soul Mates’ and suggests great things for Yasiin Gaye and the broader series on a whole.

Yasiin Gaye is released on February 25th. You can stream or download ‘Inner City Travellin’ Man’ below: 

Citizen Partridge – ‘Soul Power – Volume 1: Dancing in the Street’

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After putting together a couple of mixtapes of Jamaican Sounds I decided to ask Citizen Partridge to put together a Soul one along the same lines. Not only is Citizen Partridge’s knowledge of soul far superior than mine, he’s my older cousin(t), for whom I owe a severe debt of gratitude for my own love of music, when I was younger especially he was an endless supply of great music. I’m absolutely delighted he accepted and a massive thanks to Citizen Partridge for putting this together. Take it away Citizen. 

I’m thrilled that BarryGruff, definitely my favourite cousin(t), has asked me to make a mixtape for his excellent blog, and so I present ‘Soul Power – Volume 1: Dancing in the Street‘.

Soul music has been part of my life for nearly twenty years now, and while this collection isn’t necessarily my ‘Top 21 Soul Songs In The World… Ever’, each one is a stone cold classic. I came to soul mainly via hip hop samples and mod, and you’ll probably hear the evidence of the former in some of the selection when you say ‘oh, that’s from the Wu Tang’ or whatever.

Anyway, here’s the mix, I hope you’ll enjoy it. And if you don’t, then clearly you ain’t got no soul.

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