On 28th July, Balancing Act released ‘Cheshire Smile’.
The latest offering from the London-based quartet, Balancing Act, sees them recollect the dark danceability of the noughties. A pulsing pop-rock under-layer backs ‘Cheshire Smile’, and is opening an entirely new door in Balancing Act’s repertoire.
When discussing the track’s creation, Jackson Couzens (guitar) shared, “After the initial inspiration for this song we made a bit of a retreat back up north to finish it off. We still have a writing space there that seems to hold some magic for us, it’s a bit secluded so we can really get lost in what we’re creating and it normally produces our best work. This is another song that found its true direction in there before taking it back into the studio with Rich
You can always hear the rock element in our music because we were all brought up on that, but when it comes to making it feel fresh, we’ll turn to the likes of Trip Hop and Electronic music and try to blend that with what we make. There’s always something new to be found when you’re in unfamiliar musical territory, so we throw ourselves into whatever excites us.”
With their début headline tour approaching this September, Balancing Act are making the moves necessary to capture their live energy. Kai Roberts (vocals), confirmed this intention by stating, “This song I think is a progression from the sound of ‘All Yours’. We loved how the crowd always reacts with this tempo and feel. It’s like we feed off each other on stage – it’s addictive.”
Tour this September
Weds 6th – London, Oslo (16+)
Thurs 7th – Manchester, Deaf Institute (14+)
Fri 8th – Bristol, Crofters Rights (18+)
Sat 9th – Birmingham, The Sunflower Lounge (18+)
Patti Dixon released ‘I Will’ on 28th July.
Patti is an award winning, published songwriter and international recording artist based in Austin, Texas. And we’ve previously heard her single ‘Watch Your Good Thing Go’ (April 2023, Week 93).
Patti was born in Rocksprings, deep in the Texas hill country. Generations of her family grew up 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. She and her immediate family soon moved to the Texas Coast. Patti loves traveling to all ends of Texas and beyond, seeing old friends and making new ones.
Patti is known for heart tugging ballads and silky-smooth vocals. She is often pegged as an Americana / country / folk singer songwriter with many layers. Patti can also kick it up a notch, lending powerful vocals while recording and performing her songs that are in the classic and southern rock vein.
About the song, Patti says, “I was inspired to write the song after working with some different drum patterns and I kept hearing the words, I Will. I decided to do a song based on an earlier premonition. After playing around on the guitar with the words, ‘I Will’, the song came together. I believe it is my take on the beginning of an exciting new love interest and how that may look and feel. That was the ultimate inspiration.”
On 28th July, Vadé released ‘Mango’.
Largely known for solely utilising their spine tingling harmonies, UK’s very own A cappella quartet Vadé (pronounced vah-day), have taken a fruitful route with their latest single. ‘Mango’ is out now across various music platforms.
2023 sees the guys venturing out and experimenting with various genres and they certainly push their creative boundaries to new grounds with ‘Mango’. They’ve incorporated a summer-charged instrumental – a vibrant fusion of Afro-beats and R&B – complemented by their infamous harmonies.
They said of their latest offering: “We wanted a song that represented who we are as well as something that captured fundamental parts of our lives, so we came up with Mango, combining the exotic fruit with culture and how the sweetness of it relates to the fondness of a partner.”
The lyrics capture in simplicity some of the things the guys love about their partners: “You’re not the fighting type / baby you’re sweet and fine / you got my back when I need it / you be my ride or die!” Similarly, the single also describes how they liken this love to the sweetness of some of the foods and drink synonymous with their Afro-Caribbean culture, “You’re sweeter than Fanta oh, plantain and pineapple!”
Vadé continues to explore new music styles through their début EP which will drop later this year. They have a webpage with their down-load links, and you can follow them on Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Spotify.
Kyōgen released ‘Where There Is Sorrow There Is Holy Ground’ on 28th July.
Manchester two-piece Kyōgen announced their new single ‘Where There Is Sorrow There Is Holy Ground’. Kyōgen wrote, recorded and produced this self-released, digital single. It is available to stream via Bandcamp and Spotify on 28th July.
Kyōgen is an experimental dream pop project from PINS bassist Kyoko Swan and producer Daniel Broomhall. Following on from their ‘I Cry’ EP, ‘Where There Is Sorrow There Is Holy Ground’ is a mix of swooning vocals, otherworldly guitars and restless urban beats. It takes the spirit of the White Hotel’s avant garde scene and marries it to a timeless pop sensibility. Swan’s yearning poetry wraps a heartfelt package pitched somewhere between melancholia and moonstruck soul.
“This song is being released after a really upsetting and challenging time in my life – although strangely it was written before it. Listening to the lyrics though, I do feel I was sensing something wasn’t right, before the wheels really came off. The title is an Oscar Wilde quote from De Profundis, the long letter he wrote from Reading Jail. He said that where there is sorrow there is holy ground, and some day people will realise what that means, but until then they will know nothing of life. I don’t wish to be as dramatic as that or celebrate suffering as if it is somehow deeper than other feelings, or more noble, but there is power in suffering. At least, when we can look back upon it and realise it didn’t manage to swallow us up whole.
I think this song is about being a bit of a lost soul in a way, and the ways we search to get out of ourselves, whether that be through art, or drink and drugs, or finding love in the wrong places. Maybe just ignoring our discomfort by pretending everything is ok. I hope those who listen to it find that it speaks to them somehow, even perhaps just in a very small way.”
On 28th July Rebecca Winckworth released ‘Young, Brave and Free’.
Irish singer-songwriter, Rebecca Winckworth, has graced the world’s most prestigious stages. Achievements include international tours with the renowned group ‘Anúna’. Plus recording on award-winning albums and projects such as ‘Diablo III’. She’s appeared as a special guest on Celtic Woman’s Grammy-nominated ‘Destiny’. Also she represented Ireland in the World Festival of Music China with Titanic Dance. She has also received an International Emmy Award Nomination in 2022 with ‘Dapinty, A Musicolor Adventure’. Now she has released her new single, ‘Young Brave and Free’.
On 29th July, North Blood released ‘Postman’s Whistle’.
We previously heard North Blood’s début single ‘Supermarket Flowers’ (Week 108, July 2023).
North Blood is an original, 4 piece, guitar-based indie band from Lancashire. Daz Gilkinson (lead/rhythm guitars) and Duffy (drums) have toured extensively over the UK and internationally on other projects. Mick Bates (bass) has played with various bands over the last three decades. Daren Reece Lamberton (singer/songwriter/guitars) has played and recorded in numerous bands, and toured in the UK and parts of Europe.
Their soon to drop album ‘Rolling Doves’, is an honest and eclectic collection of original compositions. It has influences varying from funk, blues, rock and folk. Daren wrote a collection of songs over the lockdown period with a desire to record them all and see what happens. They laid down the tracks at Lisa Stansfield’s private studio Gracieland in Rochdale. Around this time, Duffy had recently finished building his home studio and had kindly offered the use of his facility to work on new material and rehearse. Daz lived around the corner and, as they both liked the songs, they eagerly got involved. Mick and Daren were long term music buddies who had done many gigs together so with this enthusiastic response, North Blood was born.
Marshall Potts released ‘Never Gets Old’ on 31st July.
Marshall Potts is a singer / songwriter from Kamloops British Columbia, Canada, where he lives on 160 acres. His crossover writing style has found acceptance in the Americana, country rock and rock formats.
Marshall writes inspiring music and lyrics. He also mixes in ringing, interwoven guitar lines and buoyant arena-rock beats. Combined with his powerful yet tender, insistent vocals he shares the experience of saving himself and delivers a universal message of positivity and optimism. His music is about moving beyond your past, taking back your power, embracing the moment, and living in the here and now.
About ‘Never Gets Old’, Marshall says, “I recall sitting across from my girlfriend and saying I’m going to write you a song right now… Never Gets Old is what came out, I guess that makes it a love song… the broader message is that our souls Never Get Old no matter our physical age and love never ages.”
Marshall will be releasing a new album later in 2023, and then 2 more in 2024 and 2025! He is prolific – we’ve heard a number of tracks from him before (‘The Change’, (Week 104, June 2023), ‘The Fall’ (Week 71, November 2022) ‘The Rope’ (Week 62, August 2022) and ‘Heaven or Home’ (Week 56, July 2022).)
The Maine have recently released ‘blame’.
The Maine released their brand new songs ‘blame’ and ‘how to exit a room’ back in July. The tracks introduced fans to the first taste of the new music off their new, self-titled album.
About ‘blame’, John O’Callaghan of The Maine, says, “In lieu of being too wordy, ‘blame’ was written to myself from myself. This tune is more or less about both placing and accepting blame for things I wish I could redo. The only rub is I can’t go backwards, only forwards.”
The Maine have also released their highly anticipated ninth full-length album, on August 1st. The band has been building up to the announcement through teasing cryptic posts across social media. They follow the evolution of the band, through highlights and throwbacks from each previous album’s era. However, for the first time in seven years, the band returned to producer Colby Wedgeworth. The band describe him as practically their sixth member.
The Maine have a website, at themaineband.com, where you can purchase all their music and merch, as well as checking the details of their tour in the USA. They also have a lnk.to page with links to all their social media and down-loads.
Elaine Malone released ‘Eat Out of Your Hand’ on 1st August.
Elaine Malone is a gifted and enigmatic Cork musician. She delights fans worldwide with the release of her latest single ‘Eat Out of Your Hand’. It features on her eagerly awaited, début album ‘Pyrrhic’. The album will drop on September 8th. To celebrate this milestone, Elaine Malone will host a spectacular album release show at Dublin’s Bello Bar. It will be presented by Foggy Notions, and feature support from the talented ‘Nudy Boy Nature.’ Tickets are available for purchase starting at €14.50 on tickets.ie.
The upcoming album ‘Pyrrhic’ marks a significant turning point in Elaine Malone’s artistic journey. It showcases her maturity as a songwriter and composer. Named after the concept of a pyrrhic victory, the record delves into the notion of triumph achieved at too great a cost. It ventures beyond the subtle compositions of her début EP ‘Land’. It also ventures into a realm of wall of sound shoegaze, haunting vocals, and foreboding guitars.
On 1st August, Michael Armstrong released ‘True Blue’.
We heard a couple of tracks (‘Little Girl (Bells of Christmas)’ (Week 24, December 2021) and ‘In Each Other’s Eye’s’ (Week 19, November 2021)) from Michael, back in 2021. Now ‘True Blue’ has dropped which is the first single from his new album ‘Gender Neutral Vol 1’. The album is a collection of Michael’s interpretations of classic hits most associated with female artists. ‘True Blue’ was Madonna’s huge 1980’s hit. Other tracks include ‘Hopelessly Devoted to You’ (Olivia Newton-John), and ‘Don’t Get Me Wrong’ (Chrissie Hynde/The Pretenders). Plus ‘The End of the World’ (Skeeter Davis) and ‘Wuthering Heights’ (Kate Bush)
Michael says, “As a young musician, as you’re making your way and trying to earn a living, you have to play a lot of cover versions. As a man I have always covered male singers’ songs even though some of my favourite tracks are by female artists. I thought that with the progression that society has made in terms of the acceptance of individual’s sexuality I could record some of those female associated songs and not have to change the gender in the lyric. It’s the 21st century after all! I purposely chose songs that to me could never be bettered and were in most cases, overtly feminine. It’s been a huge amount of fun and I’m proud of how the tracks have turned out.”
A recording of the show is on MixCloud.
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