‘Before I Shoot’ by Balancing Act is out now.
With their début EP, ‘Malice In Tone’, now out, Balancing Act have been collating praise, drawing listeners, and making their next moves. Their first step comes from their latest single, ‘Before I Shoot’. If ‘Malice in Tone’ was a reflection of leaving the old, then ‘Before I Shoot’ is an introduction to the new.
Produced by Richard Woodcraft, ‘Before I Shoot’ is a showcase of Balancing Act’s innate knack for song writing. When asked about the inspiration behind ‘Before I Shoot’, Kai Roberts (vocals) says, “This song is about being on the back end of a bad breakup where no one feels understood or heard. During the time I wrote this, I felt quite down and angry at the world. I had come out of a very rose-tinted head-space.”
Jackson Couzens (guitar) added, “In 2022 we played our first live shows and we were reminded of the excitement and adrenaline that brings to a band. With ‘Before I Shoot’, we really wanted to capture that essence in the studio. We worked with Richard Woodcraft and he completely understood what we were after. It started out as quite a catchy and upbeat song. I think you can still hear that in parts of the melody, but something about it didn’t feel quite like Balancing Act. We knew there was a song in there so we chased it down the rabbit hole until we got to this driving, wonky and somewhat relentless sound. You start in one place and then find yourself somewhere completely different.”
Balancing Act have a website, at balancingactband.co.uk.
Rapper Teddy Reiss has dropped ‘Lowkey’.
Teddy Reiss’ brand new single, ‘Lowkey’ gives an insight into his life experience, where he describes it as being “in a season of hard work before seeing it pay-off fruitfully”. His direct and powerful lyricism is met with a distinctive guitar riff over a heavy dose of bouncy hip-hop/trap and melodic synths. With a heavy focus on work ethic, ‘Lowkey’ serves as a motivating anthem for the hard-workers who are on a grind every single day.
Born and raised in South East London, in a very musical and religious family, Teddy initially wanted to be an accountant and went to university to study ACCA. After the course put him off accounting, he quickly found his new passion in music. He wasted no time and started a social enterprise called Rap Association C.I.C, using rap as a tool to educate, entertain and empower the local community. After facilitating rap workshops and producing custom rap songs for corporate events, Teddy turned his hand to song writing and at that point, he decided to forge a rap career.
To further his knowledge in music, Teddy went on to study Music Industry Practice – Creative Artistry at ACM Birmingham. He received the ACE Scholarship in 2019. Since receiving his ACE Scholarship, Teddy Reiss has produced a mix-tape and has worked with UK’s promising underground artists, R&B singer Cherri V, rappers Triple O, Funky DL and Luxury Reem.
A regular performer at various open mics across London, Teddy Reiss hits the studio, creating an ode for the hard-grinders, who are waiting to see the fruits of their labour, through single ‘Lowkey’, out from 10th March on all good music platforms.
Patti Dixon released ‘Watch Your Good Thing Go’ on 10th March.
Patti was born deep in the Texas hill country in Rocksprings, Texas. Generations of her family grew up there in this ranching community. When she was ten, her grandfather, the singing cowboy, Nolan T. Guthrie, bought her first guitar. He pulled it right off the shelf and put it in her hands, a child’s life forever changed.
Patti is now an award winning, published songwriter and international recording artist. The Austin Songwriters Group gave her the current Songwriter of the Year.
About ‘Watch Your Good Thing Go, Patti says, “I was inspired to write this song after hearing the girl sitting beside me on an airplane before take-off talking to her boyfriend. They were having a disgruntled conversation. He was on speaker at a low level but when he said, “Babe, we’ve got a good thing” she abruptly said, “You’re about to watch your good thing go!” and hung up. She turned to me and said, “That’s what running around gets you!”
Nona Brown has released her latest single ‘Latter Days/Greater’.
It’s very rare to come across a song that’s a vibe, which really resonates sonically and lyrically with the soul, but singer/songwriter Nona Brown perfectly encompasses those qualities in her latest single, ‘Latter Days/Greater’.
The soothing drive of contemporary soulful jazz arrangements, alongside Nona’s robustly smooth vocal performance, helps to hone in on the message of the inspirational single which is to: hold on in those dark moments as greater days are coming.
A diagnosis of breast cancer menas Nona Brown knows all too well what it’s like to be in the depth of despair. Despite the terrifying experience, the San Francisco native decided to fight! ‘Latter Days/Greater’ is a testament to her strength and trust in God during this experience. She’s now an eight year cancer survivor. With the turmoil behind her, Nona is currently living life to her full potential and was recently elected as the President of the San Francisco Chapter of the Recording Academy, the first black women to serve in that capacity.
Bison Hip released ‘Stronger’ on 17th March.
We’ve previously heard ‘This Time’ (Week 68, October 2022) from Bison Hip. Following on from that release, the five-piece, blues & rock band from Glasgow have now released two singles – ‘Stronger’ which we’ve just heard, and ‘Doghouse’. They released both singles on 17th March. The singles will feature on their début album ‘Older, Stronger, Better’ which is due for release on 8th April.
Anita Abram released ‘Go Again’ on 23rd March.
Anita Abram was born in Ipswich. She is an independent singer songwriter, based in Suffolk, with a passion for the visual arts. Anita performs solo and in a folk trio The Copper Foxes. She also sits on the board of an arts charity, and is an official representative of the International Singer-Songwriter Association. Having attended the DIY Female Musician’s Home Recording Academy she’s now recording her own music at home.
Anita released her first two tracks at the end of 2022 – and we heard ‘Stars Above’ in March (Week 88 and on the IWD Special). ‘Go Again’ is the third single from her forthcoming début EP, which is due for release later this year.
Anita said, “‘Go Again’ is a song designed to evoke memories related to love, loss and hope. It describes the seasons of love across the epic passage time.”
Electric Sufi have recently released ‘O Ignis Spiritus’.
Manchester, Sheffield and Doncaster collective Electric Sufi’s music is inspired by Muslim, Christian and Humanist cosmologies. They have release the single ‘O Ignis Spiritus’ ahead of their début album ‘Breathe In Love’. That album is due out in the summer.
Blending electronica, Sufi singing and Arabic instrumental virtuosity, the trio aim to promote engagement with climate change issues though their music. They draw traditions together rather than pushing them apart. With its bed of electronic drones and ebow guitar setting the scene, Electric Sufi’s interpretation of ‘O Ignis Spiritus’ is a mesmeric performance. It sees a Muslim Sufi woman singing music written by St. Hildegarde, a Christian woman. This embodies their mission of bringing traditions and ideologies together in a harmonious and creative way to precipitate solving the biggest issues of the day like climate change and societal division.
Producer, Rupert Till, says, “It’s a perfect introduction to our sound and what we’re looking to achieve. Mixing ancient melodies and song from various cultures with cutting edge recording techniques and our own personal backgrounds is an expression of what can be achieved in the world when differences are set aside and we all work together. Climate change in particular is the main challenge facing us all and togetherness is a great facilitator for bringing about the change in mind-set needed to resolve such big issues.”
Downtown Patriots released their new single, ‘Said and Done’ on March 24th.
‘Said and Done’ is available on the Downtown Patriots current album, ‘Dance out of The Dark’. The album came out last month.
Danny Watts, a multi-instrumentalist from Woodbridge, Suffolk created Downtown Patriots in 2015. Originally he worked with session drummer James Duncan on the two début EPs ‘Love’ and ‘Guiding Light’. He then settled with Ben Cochrane to create a 2-man band for live gigs.
Danny and Ben began recording the début Downtown Patriots album ‘Legacy’ in 2015 but it wasn’t released until 2019. Once the album was recorded Ben relocated to Australia. So Danny began acoustifying the songs in order to play live, solo. During lock-down in 2020, Danny began writing and recording the follow up to ‘Legacy’ – ‘Dance Out of The Dark’. With a more nuanced sound from the previous heavier offering, this new album combines Danny’s love for 90s grunge and 80s retro synths.
Danny plans on releasing further recordings from his extensive back catalogue later this year.
Danny says, “I am Downtown Patriots! Mild mannered businessman by day, rock and roller by night!” About the song, he adds, “I wrote ‘Said and Done’ at 1.30pm on 1st January 2021 and was the last song recorded on the album. It’s a classic break-up song about the protagonist realising the relationship has come to an end.”
On 24th March Gus Glynn released solo album ‘The Return of the Captain’.
Gus Glynn is a singer-songwriter from Galway, Ireland, now settled in Cheshire where he’s been for over 20 years. Gus got his first guitar at 14 and started writing songs straight away, it seemed the obvious thing to do. Fast forward a few years and Gus got by as busker in Dublin, as well as playing in restaurants & pubs and working intermittently as a kitchen porter & waiter. Gus worked in construction to support his family during the 90s in Dublin. Then, in 2002, he moved to Cheshire and continued to work. All the time he was playing, teaching and writing music. He is now a self-employed full-time musician and music teacher, front-man with 3-piece blues-rock outfit The Gus Glynn Band.
However, ‘The Return of the Captain’ is a solo project that began during lock-down when the band couldn’t meet. With it, a more meditative and expansive style of writing developed. Early influences are evident here: Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen, Joni Mitchell, Howlin’ Wolf, Pink Floyd and many more.
Gus’s writing style shares more than a shade of Leonard Cohen’s approach. This is an artist who wants to approach emotional themes closely but carefully. He then applies balm to the wounds in the mere act of exposing them. ‘The Return of The Captain’ is an album full of paradox. It doesn’t shy away from the realities of life but looks for the beauty, the diamonds in the dust.
Gus Glynn has a website at gusglynn.com.
Grace Carter has recently released ‘Pick Your Tears Up’.
Singer/songwriter Grace Carter returns with brand new single ‘Pick Your Tears Up’. She is one of the most striking young British voices in years. This is the first of much more new music to come this year. The track is an arresting, innately catchy anthem of self-empowerment. Alongside the track, Grace also unveiled a gorgeous new video directed by Iggy London plus announcing a very special, intimate, headline show at Omeara on April 17th.
Since her emergence in 2018, Grace Carter has dazzled audiences across the globe. This is due to her powerful voice and emotionally honest lyrics. With her first new single since last year’s Dark Matter – which we heard in December 2021 (Week 26) – ‘Pick Your Tears Up’ is no exception, showcasing everything that is both unique and magnetic about Grace. Written in response to the difficulties of navigating the music industry at such an early age, the track indicates a new found sense of creative freedom for Grace. It sees her experiment with new sounds, themes and producers that hint at some of Grace’s most exciting work yet.
Speaking about the track, Grace says “’Pick Your Tears Up’ is a song I wrote to myself. I wrote it at a time when I was empty, I had let too many people in and given too much of myself away to the point where I felt like I had nothing left. The thing I love so much about this song is that it feels different from me, but what makes it so special is that every instrument in it except the percussion was made using my voice at a time where I felt like I had completely lost my voice. This song felt like the start of me finding it again. In a way, I guess this song is the most ‘me’ sounding thing I’ve ever made“.
‘Pick Your Tears Up’ is available for download via her website.
A recording of the show is available on MixCloud.
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