It’s raining outside and things are a little down-in-the-dumps, so let’s get things rocking with some more music! This week our Keeping It Real feature offers a range of music from indie to folk and RnB! Enjoy our melting pot of melodies.
EVIL BLACK – ‘WINDOWS’
The solo project of producer and vocalist Nick Norton, Evil Black is a merging of RnB, rock and soul. Influenced by artists like Jannelle Monae and Eryka Badu, Evil Black is not scared to push the boundaries of genres. A very new act on the scene, the artist is yet to build up a following, but it won’t be long until Norton has too many followers to deal with. The debut single from Evil Black is ‘Windows’. Recorded in a DIY studio in Western North Carolina, Norton created a soothing but highly emotional track. His dulcet tones harmonise well with the instrumentation bringing out an alternative soul/RnB vibe.
“The song ‘Windows’ is about moving forward and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after a period or even a lifetime of hardship, anxiety and depression.” – Evil Black on ‘Windows’
GARIENT – ‘THE GIRL WITH THE TEARS IN HER EYES’
Garient has certainly come a long way since he began playing the guitar at 15. A native of Manchester, England, the lad spent the first years of his musical career in and out of indie-rock bands. Armed with experience, knowledge and a backlog of songs, Garient finally chose to perform as a solo artist. A truly diverse artist, Garient is able to merge different types of music while still staying true to his indie roots. His music has been described as “magical bliss transcending the crowd to another place”. His latest track is ‘The Girl With The Tears In Her Eyes’ – a soulful and hypnotic tune reminiscent of Oasis and Radiohead. With a new album due for release later this year, the future looks bright for Garient.
“An indie fusion of melody and atmospheric textures layered with poetry gives this song its own special place.” – Garient on ‘The Girl With Tears In Her Eyes’
SPANGLED – ‘TURMOIL’
Back in March 2019, two young gents decided to start a band while enjoying a quiet pint in Manchester. Sure, it was initially a joke, but when guitarist Jamie Halliday showed up at vocalist Ben Johnson’s door with his guitar in hand the band became more of a reality. After jamming together for a few weeks, the pair decided to search for a drummer – enter Nathan Kenyon. The final piece of the indie-rock quartet was bass player Niall McGovern.
Growing up in Manchester, the lads of Spangled grew up listening to iconic Manchurian indie bands like Oasis, The Smiths and The Stone Roses. This influence is clearly evident in their music from 2019’s ‘Crossbar Challenge’ to the most recent track ‘Turmoil’. Big choruses, tight guitar riffs, a steady drumbeat and effortless vocals make ‘Turmoil’ an addictive, anthemic track. A few more years and these lads will be competing with the likes of Blur.
“‘Turmoil’ is essentially a love song. It’s written from a boy’s perspective on his admiration for a girl who seems to thrive off being alone. The girl in question lives in her own little bubble and enjoys that feeling of isolation; she doesn’t need anyone to make her happy and the boy can’t really do anything to change that. It’s an emotional song and it’s one to scream at the top of your lungs.” – Ben Johnson (Spangled) on ‘Turmoil’
ANGELSIGHTINGS – ‘CAPTIVITY’
The brain-child of solo singer/songwriter Nina Luther, Angelsightings is a transcendental indie-folk musical experience. Hailing from Land O’ Lakes, Florida, Luther has been performing since the age of 15. During this time she also began writing and recording tracks, eventually forming the band Lollipop Sucker Punch with some close friends. Now producing acoustic music as Angelsightings, the 21-year-old shares her personal experiences and tragedies with listeners. She recently released her debut EP Captivity – a soothing relief and feeling of calm after the proverbial storm.
“Captivity has been a running project since I was in high school and the first two songs are mainly influenced by that time of my life. The transience of leaving home and making mistakes. My most ambitious song, ‘Sushi Song’, expresses the pain of coming home after a long time without the person who formed that life with you.” – Angelsightings on Captivity
ANDREW MAXWELL MORRIS – ‘SAVE THE LIGHT’
Over the past ten years, singer/songwriter Andrew Maxwell Morris has supported the iconic Fleetwood Mac, rock band Marillion, and performed at Glastonbury every year from 2008 to now. Influenced by Ben Howard, Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan, the artist has risen from open mic nights in the early 2000s to having songs placed in TV shows across the globe. The Bob Dylan-esque style is quite evident in his music, but Morris doesn’t define the music he makes with each of his songs having a unique vocal character. The multi-instrumentalist musician wrote his first song at the age of 12, but little did he know that about 15 years later he’d have released two EPs, two albums and become a well-known name among his contemporaries.
His latest album is Save The Light – a soothing acoustic nine-track record with beautifully crafted songs. We have to agree with Brand New Bands when they say “Morris epitomises the depth of talent in this country [UK] and the indomitable spirit to continue to ply his craft honestly and with conviction.”
“The ethos behind the album is space, time and light. I want to create spaces in my music which get the listener thinking and reflecting on our time here. The music is all about emotion and making the most of the light in our lives.” – Andrew Maxwell Morris on Save The Light
COOPER CARR – ‘TAKE BACK THE JOY’
Hailing from Kansas City, Missouri, this young singer/songwriter is making a bit of a dent in the indie-folk scene (and all before his 21st birthday). Only 18 years old, Cooper Carr has self-produced two singles and a seven-track album Take Back The Joy. Drawing inspiration from artists like Ben Platt, Ben Rector and Hayley Williams, Take Back The Joy revolves around finding hope through uncertainty. The concept behind this moving album is particularly relevant to the world regarding the current COVID-19 pandemic.
“Take Back The Joy centres around the idea of navigating the unexpected, specifically as it relates to losing the end of my senior year of high school due to COVID-19. Through the uncertainty, the lyrical focus remains rooted in hope and on the celebration of love and life.” – Cooper Carr on Take Back The Joy
MATTHEW GORD0N PRICE – ‘ARROWS’
Beginning his musical journey at the age of 15, Devonshire-based singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Gordon Price is known for his emotional lyrics and heartwarming melodies. Surrounded by the voices of The Kinks and The Beatles, Price has integrated different styles and genres to his acoustic releases. Collaborating with other artists, such as bassist Jamie Yost and guitarist Fergus Tanner, Price has an ever-evolving indie-folk sound. His latest release, with Yost and Tanner, is the single ‘Arrows’. Highly reminiscent of Mumford and Sons, ‘Arrows’ is an upbeat and addictive single to keep your toe tapping with the soulful sounds.
“The song was originally two songs. The chorus ‘Arrows’ was a catchy little melody I had and one day I used these lyrics from a song called ‘Sweet Realisation’. It seemed to work and people enjoyed it when I showcased it at local venues.” – Matthew Gordon Price on ‘Arrows’
PETTER CARLSEN – ‘CONTRADICTIONS’
All the way from the far north of Norway’s Arctic Circle, troubadour Petter Carlsen is brewing his own type of rock music. Moving away from the traditional singer/songwriter style, this multi-instrumentalist merges alternative rock with indie-rock, folk and infusions of electronica. Having worked with various artists, such as Julietnorth, Tim Christensen, Anathema and Long Distance Calling, Carlsen has gained an array of experience in different genres. His latest release is the single ‘Contradictions’.
Carlsen released his first single, ‘Fade To Black’, in the early 1990s at the age of 15. It was only in 2006 that he released his debut EP A Taste of What’s To Come, and now he adds to his repertoire with ‘Contradictions’. A serene single with powerful rustic vocals, powerful lyrics and a moving melody. If Kings of Leon with John Mayer, then Petter Carlsen would be it.
“Contradictions speaks about the lengths we go in order to make fortunes in this commercial world, and how this contradicts our natural way of life.” – Petter Carlsen on ‘Contradictions’
CRISTOPHER ROSE – ‘WE’RE NOT SUPERMEN’
In 1998 in a small Italian city, Cristopher Clark Rose was born. Since an early age, Rose showed a natural predisposition for music by memorising and repeating the folk tunes his great-grandmother would hum when cooking. At age 12, Rose’s mother enrolled him in a local music school where he began to play the piano. Known to be a shy and quiet young boy, he took to music immediately as a means of expressing himself. At the age of 14, he wrote his first song which grew into a plethora of tracks as he went further down the music rabbit hole. His latest single is ‘We’re Not Supermen’.
Based on his alter-ego Sigmund, ‘We’re Not Supermen’ is a desperate representation of failing relationships. It was released in April 2020 and sincerely encapsulates the emotions being felt during the COVID-19 lockdown. In ‘We’re Not Supermen’ Rose clearly demonstrates how music conveys a message that words cannot describe.
“It encapsulates feelings we are all experiencing during lockdown. The repeated phrase within ‘We’re Not Supermen’ pleads to stay strong.” – Cristopher Rose on ‘We’re Not Supermen’
THEODOR LUCERO – ‘TOY GUN’
In the summer of 2019, Norwegian vocalist and guitarist Theodor Lucero decided to begin a new musical project. After two months of writing new music, Lucero teamed up fellow schoolmates guitarist Arne Martin and bassist Adrian Eriksen. Soon after the threesome came together, drummer Aage Halleland joined the ranks. The band was joined quickly by keyboardist Jonas Enerstvedt and the soft-rock group was born. Taking inspiration from The Beatles, Coldplay and Pink Floyd, Theodor Lucero has released three singles gaining local coverage for ‘Oh’ and ‘Flowers’. The most recent single is ‘Toy Gun’.
Reminiscent of Oasis and Coldplay, Lucero’s dulcet tones blend easily with the simple instrumentation. While a seemingly soothing single, ‘Toy Gun’ is a sombre track discussing the complexity of contemporary society.
“‘Toy Gun’ is a song based on a true story that took place in the 80s. An Afro-American boy at the age of 5 was shot and killed by a police officer, mistaken for a burglar as he was playing with a toy gun. The incident caused permanent damage to the family and a child was lost in the process. ‘Toy Gun’ tells the story in a third perspective and bears an important message that should not be forgotten.” – Theodor Lucero on ‘Toy Gun’