This is the first of a monthly series of playlists featuring music from new artists and those that I believe deserve a wider audience. With the demise of the old major label model, there is now more music, in more formats, than ever before. Anything that can help to guide us through the maze of new music has to be a good thing – right?
The playlist can be found on Spotify here.
Pride of place this month goes to the Oh Hellos. Formed by brother and sister Tyler and Maggie Heath in San Marcos, Texas. Currently touring the US, the band played a great set at last summer’s Green Man festival – despite the horrendous weather! Hello My Old Heart is taken from the self titled EP that is now five years old. If this has you wanting to discover more, their second full length album Hello Wormwood from 2015 is a treat. Check out the band’s website or follow on Twitter
London based, twenty-two year old Sam Folorunsho – alias XamVolo has an extraordinary voice, a very tight touring band and an exciting future. His new single, Money Store is out now. Having played a great set at the recent Off The Record showcase in Manchester I can recommend seeing the band live. If you are feeling really flash you can catch him in New York on December 1st. Follow him on Twitter.
Two more bands that lit up Off The Record were Caro and The Orielles. It has been an exciting year for Leeds based Caro. From the tiny back room of the Castle in Manchester to the wide open spaces of Roundhay Park (as opening act on the James / Primal Scream bill) is quite a contrast. Cold Comfort was released in June and the band are currently touring (including The Nation Of Shopkeepers in Leeds on November 30th). Twitter.
During the conference portion of Off The Record, The Orielles probably got more mentions than any other band appearing in the showcase. The live set did not disappoint. Their single Sliders was released in April and you can catch them live at the Fallow Cafe, Manchester on November 25th/26th with further December dates in Leeds, Manchester, Hebden Bridge and Sheffield. Twitter.
Motown legends Martha Reeves sets very high standards in her live performances, so a support slot is much prized. To be asked back for the next tour shows the high standards set by Leeds based Samuel S. Parkes. A thundering set featuring originals and storming northern soul covers (The MVPs Turning My Heartbeat Up a particular favourite) make this band a must see. Lock & Key was released as a single last week with Let Me Go the b side. Twitter.
Jodie Abacus has a voice in the mould of Luther Vandross. OK – a lot to live up to but a great live set (recently supporting Corinne Bailey Rae) as well as increasingly polished records such as She’s In Love With The Weekend, his third single, released in the spring of 2016. Twitter.
It is always nice to stumble across great music by accident. This happened for me at this year’s Green Man. Picking my way through the rain and mud I was drawn to the Courtyard stage by extraordinary harmonies. The sun came out and I was hooked. This was my introduction to I See Rivers, a folk trio from Norway, now based in Liverpool. Loved Ones is a beautiful song to get started with this band. More recorded music is promised shortly. Twitter
There are few better funk bands around than Leeds’ own Haggis Horns. Return Of The Haggis comes from the band’s 2015 album What Comes To Mind. Catch them live on New Year’s Eve at Band On The Wall, Manchester. Twitter
Another band that know how to get feet moving are New Yorkers, The Budos Band. Signed to the famous Daptone label. Up From The South is taken from the band’s 2005 debut album The Budos Band. Again, if you are feeling flash, catch them in New York on New Year’s Eve supporting Kamasi Washington. Twitter
Formerly based in Leeds, Ben Roberts relocated to London last summer. His farewell performance was supporting Eli “Paperboy” Reed at Headrow House. Looking forward to hearing more from Ben in the near future. Lovely Day was released in June and should have been huge! Twitter
Bolton’s best singer/songwriter Janileigh Cohen can often be found busking on the streets of Manchester. Her set on the Introducing stage at Green Man was mesmerising. Modest and unassuming yet extremely talented, this singer should be playing bigger venues and having commercial success. As A Child is the title track of a five song EP released last year. Twitter
Kath Edmonds, Tom Duffissey and drummer Lee Proctor make up Leeds power trio Kath & The Kicks. All My Time is taken from the band’s EP 20 Years Of Screaming and has been featured several times on Radio Barnsley shows presented by myself and Mick Malloy. Catch them live in Barnsley on December 3rd at The Underground. Twitter
Hope you enjoy the playlist. More to come next month.by