According to their website, Magazine Gap have played gigs all around the world – “the UK (including headline performances in 13 major cities) and over to Ireland, crisscrossed the United States (from New York to Chicago, New Orleans to Los Angeles) and around the Far East (Japan, Singapore, Hong Kong), plus delivered an acclaimed concert at the world’s most eclectic music festival – Montreux – in front of a discerning audience of 2,000 people”.
That’s a lot of venues, a lot of audiences and a lot of ears on their music. And it’s hard to imagine that many of those weren’t captured by their popular funk stylings. It’s a genre driven by easily picked up bass and drum grooves, which gives their music real energy. The new single, ‘Calling Card’ is the latest example of this, and you can find out all about their new EP of the same name on the Magazine Gap website.
A talented songwriter who is deserving of the growing exposure his music is getting, Dale McKay is a Sheffield based pop artist with a twist. Showcasing his upbeat, acoustic side as well as his fine vocal and great production, his online streaming release of ‘Make You Happy’ does exactly what such releases should do – whet the appetite for the releases to follow.
In this case, the track is here to promote a new EP titled ‘Here and Now’. A four track release which includes the song above, it arrives from online stores from September 16th and has all the hallmarks of a very strong independent release. This is pop music minus the incessant ‘beats’ and without a whiff of cheese – all of which makes it a worthy EP release to get excited about.
Voodoo Dancer – a group of musicians based in the bustling musical heart of New York – are a difficult band to pin down in terms of genre. iTunes has them down as jazz, their Facebook page calls them rock, and their press release describes them as pop and soul. On top of all that, their new single – a remix of their track ‘Forever Girl’ – is a straightforward dance track.
Perhaps this blend of genre and influences speaks to the musical melting pot on offer from the various members of the collective at hand, with each member of Voodoo Dancer bringing their own spin to the party. Or maybe it speaks to a band still trying to find themselves and unsure of how to classify their sound.
Either way, the new single, and the remix, are both good fun and well worth a listen. And perhaps the rockier, jazzier side will be more in focus with later releases.
It’s strange that the lasting impression left by Rachel Johnson’s new single is so different from the one you initially start with. As the song ends, you’re left with a rhythmic, epic chorus ringing in your ears. However, press play again and you’re reminded that everything starts very differently – with subtle melodies and simple instrumentation.
It’s remarkable that the song moves from one to the other without lurching clumsily, instead building in an organic way towards its huge finale. ‘Safe Island’ is out today on iTunes, and proves that Rachel Johnson certainly has a way about her.
‘Tis the season to be jolly, and thanks to these fun new Christmas tracks from Kelly Moneymaker, that should be easy this year. A US soul songwriter with a stunning voice, Moneymaker seems genetically inclined to sing in this genre. There’s a long tradition of Christmas blues tracks, all the way back to Elvis, and Moneymaker’s ‘Home For The Holidays’ continues that tradition with great aplomb.
You can hear the full track above, and if you like what you’re hearing you can get it now on iTunes. And as if that wasn’t enough, Kelly Moneymaker has also released a new version of ‘Jingle Bells’ – available here.
Posted in Pop, Roots
- Tagged Christmas, funk, Home for the Holidays, Jingle Bells, Kelly Moneymaker, Pop, single, soul, video, vocal
What do you get if you take good old fashioned rock and roll, mix it with some blue eyed soul, funky blues and a dash of Aretha? The answer is the new album from US vocal superstar Kelly Moneymaker. And if that sounds like a set-up and punchline for a joke, it’s not.
Previously a member of female vocal group Exposé (named among Billboards top ten female groups of all time, by the way), Kelly Moneymaker has returned to music after some time off to start a family, and is now working hard to claw herself back to the top.
Thankfully, the strength of her vocal alone is enough to get a lot of attention, and the fact that she’s being backed by a host of top quality musicians and kick-ass songs is just a bonus. This is blues, soul and rock ‘n’ roll at its best.
Posted in Rock, Roots
- Tagged album, band, blues, Expose, gospel, Kelly Moneymaker, roots, singer, soul, Stone, vocal