Ben Cooling: To Hell with Consequences


ben cooling

Bristol based Ben Cooling clearly isn’t living up to his last name here but if you are up for some melodiously hopeful brooding against the backdrop of some good solid acoustic guitar work please give his EP ‘To Hell with Consequences’ a listen:



Simon & the Bande à Part: Blinking and Breathing


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Sentimental, introspective and foot tapping at the same time, Cape Town based Simon & the Bande à Part’s fourth album Blinking and Breathing is a beautifully written, wonderfully executed piece of work juxtaposed with relateable metaphors and dollops of sentimental humor. This trio comprises Simon on vocals and acoustic guitar, and ‘the outsiders’: Eric Michot (aka Mr Kito) on bass and Ross Campbell (Urban Creep, Benguela, Fetish) on drums. Produced by Ian Pritchett ( who also produced some albums by Angus & Julia Stone), this album seems to rightfully be headed towards continuing and adding on the successs and adulation that this very talented group has achieved thus far with their last three albums. A few samples from the album:



If you like what you hear, check out their website and choose your method of continued association 🙂

Andrew James and The Steady Tiger


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After a while, you feel the need to get back to basics, i.e. crisp sounding instruments, perfectly suited vocals, catchy tunes and relatable lyrics. Andrew James and The Steady Tiger, an indie-folk-acoustic band from Cape Town South Africa, offer just that at a production quality which is so high, that it might adversely impact their touring prospects. They have an album out and it is awesomely titled: ‘Red in Tooth and Claw’

A bit about the band: This is a collaboration between Andrew James (guitar & vocals)and James Van Minnen  “The Steady Tiger ” (drums & percussion). It was recorded during 2011 in the Knysna forest on the south coast of South Africa. Their bandcamp page also says: As far as possible, we set out to capture the integrity of our live sound; the elusive dialogue between two musicians in a room

While these are the main guys, there are more members who add certain vital inputs to their music and the details for the same can be viewed here. For me, the sound is blend of what you would get if John Butler Trio and Newton Faulkner played together. Now the music:

If you like what you hear, don’t forget to check out/purchase their work at bandcamp and view their website. You can also follow them on facebook or soundcloud (with a name like that they should be , if nothing else, easy to find)

Macatier: A year from now


 

Bristol(UK) based Dan Brown, who goes by the name Macatier and whom we featured in our days of relative infancy has released his first EP a week ago. The songs have all been redone/re-edited/re-mastered and sound much crisper than the earlier uploaded versions. The genre is still upbeat-acoustic, so somehow this product has remained free from all the electronic adulteration, which is a welcome change from the mainstream sound of our times

Now as for the EP, it starts with the groovy, head-bang friendly Boxing Clever, which is reminiscent of the music of John Butler Trio from down under. A solid start, which moves on to the evocative ‘Make it Fast’ which is in the similar ballpark as  Eagle Eye Cherry or Smashmouth or even Barenaked Ladies to an extent. After this, it moves on to a couple of songs which are a bit like the good ones from Matchbox Twenty’s earlier works (Mad Season and earlier). Although he does not quite have the baritone of a Rob Thomas, the voice is strong, has a good range and a distinctive identity. Plus, he is really young and the voice will only get deeper with time. As for the finish comes the lyrical ‘Write Words, Write Time’, which has a strong rhythm and the wonderful line ‘It paints me as I am’ in it. So without further ado, listen to the EP and download it legitimately yourselves from here.

My personal favourites from the EP:

Make it Fast:

Hiding in plain sight: this also inspired my album art attempt posted above ;).

Write words, write time:

 

Macatier


Fresh on the Indie scene is a very promising upcoming talent : Macatier, from Bristol, UK. Macatier is actually Dan Brown, who just turned 21 about a week ago and writes, sings, plays on his own and aspires to write and play ‘half as well as Ben Howard does’ Having recently played at the Red Bull Studios in London, his music has a loyal and growing following on all his social networking sites and I do believe that better things are in order soon. The sound is described by him as ‘Upbeat Acoustic’ (which fits fairly well) and I particularly liked the following tracks:

1) Boxing Clever: A very good tempo like some of John Butler Trio’s earlier work on display here. Makes you wanna sit back, relax and nod your neck vigorously at the same time. Not a good idea for the spinally challenged but who knows, a right shake might fix stuff doctors can’t ;). Box Clever, duck better ;)!

2) Drinking in LA: I didn’t expect to but was pleasantly surprised by the accomplished writing and vocals in this one. I think Ben Howard would be proud of this one 🙂

Well all his songs are also available for legit downloads on his soundcloud page: http://soundcloud.com/macatier

He also has a facebook page which I recommend you should follow as info on events and venues for his live performances are updated there: https://www.facebook.com/macatier

So, enjoy the freshness, intensity and sheer rawness of his work. Attend a few events, give a few likes, spread the love!

Yin and Yang……………with a caffeine kick


So for the last few weeks, I have been incessantly sharing the new awesome possibilities that the digital revolution has brought into our lives. But right now when the weather is grey and I am curled up in my crumpled blanker with a hot Cuppa, grungy acoustic seems to fit the mood. Always striving to attain the perfect analog/digital balance, I have discovered some raw music which is as everlasting and not nearly as frustrating  as the lack of sunshine in Berlin.The artiste for today is The Always Unprofessional, who is achtually Joff from Larry’s Bar and Grill (UK). By his own self description he is not really an artiste but a normal guy who writes songs and a lot of stories. Everything is recorded with one laptop, one lead and either a guitar, a mic or a keyboard controller.

As always, if you like what you here, spread the joy and like the artiste on soundcloud: http://soundcloud.com/the-always-unprofessional