Azadeh & Index Dex
It's a privilege to be asked to write about this brilliant act from Omnivi3e. The first half of which is Azadeh, she's toured with Jools Holland, Grammy Award winner Robert Cray, and Spice Girl Melanie C. Index Dex is best known for his session work with several celebrity acts, he's also performed on his own at Notting Hill Festival, a grass-roots entertainment party in London. This duo of luminary talents bring us Ricochet.
A double edged vocal opens the track with bursts of sustained tone. A rhythm builds in plucked notes that evolves into a ska beat. Up-strokes on the off-beat give a buoyancy and uplifting vibe. Happy drums bounce and lyrics rhyme in neat lines. The song is about saying things that might be true in one context yet in another could do damage. Friendly fire or a well-planned ricochet, the contents of our ugly heart can be revealed even when we think we're in the right.
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Since a small child, with influences including Stevie Nicks, Dusty Springfield, and Etta James, Kerry Goodhind has been singing and creating her own songs. Now she's grown up, and has experience including festival and television appearances, it's time the radio began playing her music. That's exactly what's happening, her new single The Dawn is being played around the world. Already described as a beautiful and captivating number, it's with pleasure that Alternative Fruit is asked to offer a few words.
It starts with a deep, sultry bass tone with a vocal glistening over the edges. Delicate and charming melody builds over the first couple of lines before a surge of percussion raises the music up. Extra energy is thrown into the song as the music swells and lyrics climb in pressure. Operatic quality within the projection pushes the music forward in distilled shots of tempered emotion. Strings and rhythm mix with distant piano to allow Kerry Goodhind to strut her beautiful voice like the powerful instrument it is.
You can follow Kerry Goodhind on Facebook
Pavey Ark - Close Your Eyes And Think Of Nothing | Full Album Review | Alternative Fruit
Close Your Eyes And Think Of Nothing
TBR: 20th March
Glastonbury, Bearded Theory, and Cornbury festivals have all seen Pavey Ark perform since their conception in 2016. This includes supporting headliners such as Badly Drawn Boy, Rozi Plain, and Steve Mason on tour. Headed by established song-writer Neil Thomas, Pavey Ark are now set to release their long-awaited album, Close Your Eyes And Think Of Nothing. It's a personal reflection of Neil's personal story in many ways, including thoughts about first-time fatherhood, letting go of the necessity to work, and future hopes, the work encapsulates the mental geography of many through the lens of one.
The album opens with a pretty guitar melody, picked from various interesting chords. Vocals begin, melody merges in wafts of string, guitar, and possibly harmonica. The drums patter in like the feet of children entering a room filled with balloons. Cymbals build up after a couple of bars while the vocal progresses in scale to bring out a sunnier side to the clouds. Wallflowers gently addresses meaningful feelings that swell and blossom inside. As it evolves, distortion is added to the guitar and the drums include a subtle pressure. This settles to allow the string section to burst into rays of light.
An upbeat guitar riff strums a rock beat across snappy quick drums. Lines of rhythmic poetry project in bursts of vocal that frame the tempo. Brass instruments flow like rivers glowing in sunset reflections while strings soar above as wading birds looking for silts to probe. Soft vocals gleam in neat and catchy formations. The music moves swiftly at first then slows with vocal harmonisations and a steady pause in the guitar. Blues notes frolic and swerve across the gradients of melody as Neil's voice beckons us closer. A guitar solo breaks free, showering us in confetti like emotions.
The title track, Close Your Eyes And Think Of Nothing begins with glissando guitar, along with waves of shimmering cymbal. Picked notes shine through as the oceanic percussion continues and builds with subtle additions. Vocal and strings enter, the harmony between the two adds a layer of icing, swirling and modelled to uniquely compliment the composition beneath. Pretty melody and progressive song-writing gives us a relaxing sit-through journey into a soft yet slightly punchy whist. As the song begins to fade, the violin section opens up, flowing with beautiful and emotive patterns.
Next, the guitar picks a melody like stepping stones across a rocky stream. The violins add their warmth in lines of drawn out minor key as Neil opens up and sings his heart out. His emberline voice radiates with heated glow as mild breaths push the energy around in abstract motions. As the track moves, the chords distil and bubble down which gives a position for trumpet to enter and blast a slow-moving and evocative milk through the dusty air. Leaf by Leaf is a smooth walk through sunny park avenues.
It's followed by Two Blue Lines. A guitar melody that reminds me of The Rolling Stones flows out as the vocals begin. Intricate melody and heart-felt projection gives the music an ever-growing human quality. Notes trill and slide behind the face of the song, violins enter as the voice changes to oohs and ahhs that snugly shuffle between the beats. It works as a kind of chorus that breaks up the melodic verse lines. Dreamy and warm guitar shines with the astral voice, cosmic inflections spin us in ecliptic orbits of high albedo.
Picked notes begin the next track as a quick drum flushes out a lead blues melody. The higher energy and gear of this offering brings us out of the sensation of chill left over from before. We're still relaxing, only it's got distortion. Warm and buzzy notes dance like butterflies in forest glades as a chuggy drumbeat merges with chords and melodic progress. Hidden Hills takes us to a place where we can stare in wonder at the stories to be told and lessons learned from places seldom seen. The song gives us a sense of rock n roll as the music opens into a room of palm-muted blues and major-scale rhythmically played in at a galloping pace.
Lost In Blue begins. Elegant melody opens on the guitar. Strings add bass notes that rumble against the harmony. These rise to become high notes which dance and billow in the up-draught of guitar. Drums add expertly positioned handholds in rationed elements that instil quality rather than quantity. Twin strings dance together like courting dragonflies as the vocal insists with feeling and sensitivity. The track ends with an upward burst of energy that slightly distorts and warms the music behind the poetic lines.
An interesting echo effect pushes palm muted acoustic chords into a percussive pattern to begin the next track. This becomes the basis for chords and strings to helix on bandstands of sound. The group coalesce in genuine togetherness as the music moves as one, led by the voice which leads like a confident starling. She's Already Flown has a buoyant edge, floaty and light-weight composition gives a lift to low-gravity vocals which twist and bob in the comparative density.
Melodic and tuneful notes on guitar match sleek drifts of violin for the opening of the next number. Vocals with a subtle compression skate over the crests and peaks, an introspective energy calls us inward. Lines about making it out of the prison resonate with cooling and foundational harmonies and wrapped notes. Breaking Out is a song written from a place where we put ourselves first, and embrace the individual that we are. It's an adventure of dream and hope, one that perhaps never can be reached. Dogs die and people do thoughtless things, after-all.
Jenny Let Go has an upbeat jig about it, as high chords strum joyous phrases in a neat and dancing beat. It's a song that lifts us up and reminds us that there is fun to be had. Unison melody on the guitar and what could be a banjo craft a swerving groove through happy drums and spirally vocals. It's a quick, snappy number that takes the penultimate place well.
The mood is toned down for a melancholy tune as the last song finds its way to us. Vocals made of a stream of quickly sung words flow like melted treacle through tunnels of guitar. The flow builds and slows as each verse and chorus makes its appearance. Consider Your Hand grows with drums and progressive chords to soar upward and culminate in a beat driven yet imagination led thinking song.
This tender album will sit well with fans of The Doves and Elbow. A manicured British emotion fuels the heart of this well-written and calming collection of songs.
You can catch up with Pavey Ark on Facebook
You can watch Pavey Ark on tour.
Dates confirmed so far:
Tues 31st Mar - Greystones, Sheffield
Mon 13th Apr - Oporto, Leeds
Fri 17 Apr - Green Note, London
Sat 25th Apr - Hull, Middleton Hall (album launch)
Fri 28th May - Acoustic Festival of GB, Uttoxeter
Sat 20th Jun - C-Fab Folk and Blues Festival, Lincolnshire
Fri 24th July - Deershed Festival, North Yorkshire
Fri 14th Aug - Boomtown Fair, Hampshire
Sat 5th Sept - Moseley Folk Festival, Birmingham
Also: Browse Special Offers on Excellent and Choice Wines. Support Your Music Journal And Drink The Best. Enjoy!
Silver And Gold
Lilith Bee has been making amazing music since before she was a teenager. From humble beginnings in junior singing contents to international radio-play, Lilith Bee has shown the world that she is more than capable of captivating audiences from all nations. She's now a world-class musician with her name appearing in songwriting competition finals at home and abroad. Lilith Bee is one to watch, alright. But more importantly, one to listen to.
It begins with a strike on the guitar and sensual drums that pound deep with resonant bass. Voice wails in a sombre melody that compliments the tempo. Then, Lilith Bee begins the verse. Her voice is like warm syrupy goo, it drifts and slides along the framework of the song in delicious phrases. Her emotive inflections build character through the art of story-telling. A lightness to the sound sits atop cavernous depth and meaning. Expert melody building and build-up of musical intensity gives rise to a progressive and exciting track.
Find out more about her music on Lilith Bee's website
Also follow Lilith Bee on Facebook
Today's artist comes all the way from Myanmar and now lives in North London. It's in the UK where she's making a name for herself in music. With influences ranging from Jessie J to Adele, her vocal quality has become an evocative and memorable talent. This new single is pushing Phe Phe further with radio play, press, and buzz all over the place.
The song begins with an interesting percussion line that's joined by piano in minor key. Phe Phe begins the song and her voice hits us as a beautiful and poetic instrument. The song builds with rhythm, the vocal-line grows and changes with the evolving melody. Notes switch to a bouncy major scale as the tempo progresses, and catchy beats radiate between the lines. An RnB funky sound melts over the room as Butterflies plays out.
You can visit Phe Phe online
Follow Phe Phe on Facebook
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Sussex has talent, Erin Bloomer sits among the best with her millions of streams and growing army of fans. The radio has been lapping up her tunes over the past year or two, and with a lifetime of singing experience, Erin Bloomer truly deserves it. It's clear that she's meant for big things when listening to her voice and the music she has composed. This latest single, Second Best, inspires a lot of questions. How do you feel about being second best? Is it a mind-trick played with words based on random circumstance or is it a sign you have to work harder? It depends on how you look at it. It depends on how they look at it too.
With voice, piano, and digital effect, the music enters. A distorted guitar plucks and strums buzzy notes in a sombre tune. A unique blend of classic RnB vocal with warm and choppy composition brings us to a new musical place. Exploratory beats rumble and roll while Erin Bloomer throws melody around like an expert ribbon gymnast. Progressive drums build with layers as the chuggy guitar slides around key phrases. Keyboards hum beneath in secretive whispers which break through at well-timed intervals. It's one of the best songs I've heard of this style, without any more grading, they all sit comfortably on the same extended sofa.
You can find out more about Erin Bloomer on her website
Follow Erin Bloomer on Facebook
Listen to Erin Bloomer on Soundcloud
When Mai Khalil moved to London from Syria via Germany a few years ago, she'd not heard of RnB music. That was until someone left a random CD on the road where she lived. Maybe thrown from the car window in a heart-broken tempest or dropped from an over-flowing bag of DJ material, it found a great home in the hands of Mai K. She fell in love with the genre, its style, sound, and emotional reflection of herself then begun her adventure in sound. Alternative Fruit is thrilled to have Mai K back for a third feature.
The single begins with a delicately played guitar melody. More instruments on keyboard flow in with tributaries of melodic story-building. Mai K starts singing. Her rap-singing style shoots colours over the smooth and dream-filled composition. The chorus breaks with harmonies and chanted words which wind up into snappy drums and pressures of melody. Violins and hand-claps move the tempo, a sway of gentle winds dresses the motion with a progressive temperament.
You can find out more about Mai K and her latest music by following her on Facebook
Listen to Mai K on SoundCloud
Barnyard Boogie (Featuring Stony Murphy)
Things have exploded in such a short time for KZ. Now with a succession of awards and his face in plenty of magazines, his Country Rap infusion is making headway all by itself. Even line-dancers have adopted his newest single as something to shuffle along to. KZ has also recently collaborated with Snoop Dog, a massive name on the hip-hop scene. Even I had heard of him when all I'd listen to was thrash metal. You can find signed stuff here.
The music starts with duelling lyrics that bounce from a funky guitar rhythm. Drums add a smooth and laid-back tempo which invites the first verse to begin. Fun and exciting rap lines bring home a feeling of the party, there's no aggression or boasting, it's all about having a good time. This is just how I like my rap music, rhythmic lines of easily learned spoken word with a little injection of melody. The music builds and flows, the voice overlaps and the guitar chugs out a few extra notes to get the swing in motion. It goes on and on with a fun rhythm, drawn in and entertained, it's one to listen to again and again.
You can follow KZ on Facebook
Stars and Rabbit
Out 28th February
Fresh from the shores of Indonesia, Stars and Rabbit are on an express train to the top of the record collection. This duo of musical talents have been making a massive name for themselves in their home nation and beyond. A back-catalogue of music including an EP, and debut album, live recordings, and a collaboration with the band Bottlesmoker means this new LP is bound to have something special for us. Since forming in Yogyakarta in 2011, things have leapt and bounded from strength to strength. A recent single was nominated for best new-comer at the UK Video Music Awards and Popmatters recently featured another track as “miraculous”. A recent line-up change brings a producer into the mix, maintaining the established groove with a new set of fingers that have already learned the ropes.
The music begins with catchy beats and swinging tones that jam and riff along a clean vocal-line. We get up-beat lines with poetic influences in a punky rhythm. Little Miss Mischievous is a smooth and bluesy guitar based rock-tune that brings out a sunny influence. It's followed by Illusory Utopia. Slidey rhythmic notes swell from the guitar as rhythm pushes the tempo forwards. Melodic lines dance and shimmer in dancing doses of verse. Keyboard fills add colour to the minimal mix, revealing separation in the tracks which congeals and bounces around the room.
A chord is picked to produce a shifting melody. The drums begin with a quick-stepping tempo. This is Naked King. A delicate vocal melody knits a pattern of clouds and colour while the music builds and swells in portions. A slower delivery and a scale that reminds me of the orient brings out a flavour that reminds me of the musician's roots. Then, funky blues guitar breaks through to reveal a rock strand which shimmers and glows in the light. Next is The Magician. A tarot card and an entertainer, which is this track most like? Dualistic vocals with male and female voices dance with each other as subtle melody and rhythm builds across a progressing composition. The song gets underway in slow and graceful swishes of intention. It drifts and hangs in the air as new layers of harmony and percussion are added which enliven the production.
A bouncy riff is next, it shifts and shimmies on a joyous framework while the rhythm provides room to swing. Vocals with harmonising sections dance and frolic on pieces of sound which shake and glow with summery emotions. Any Day In The Park carries a carefree and invigorating energy. Next up, St. Anne opens with sample of conversation. A ukulele rises from the static which provides buoyancy for vocals. Chatty and wistful lines jump and twirl in tuneful bursts. A slight effect on the voice allows it to merge and sink into the music like a soft and comfy sofa. Summery and tropical notes swish like mirages along sand-dunes while friendly vocals draw us in.
More reflective notes shine out from the rich guitar. A slow vocal melody snakes over the notes in lush and seductive movements. The tune breaks down and builds up with twills and glissando, before a snare and hat rhythm penetrates and pushes it into a new gear. I Don't Wish To Carry You Any More is a song about getting fed up with taking the pressure off for other people. We have our own pressures. The music breaks free in a wobbly and evocative blues fill which casts magical bubbles from the funnel of sound. Harmonising vocals add another dimension to the composition, a slow moving chorus revels in sumptuous melody.
Blue Boat Lovers starts with violins and emotionally melancholic dives of scale. Guitars find a place in the sound while cabaret style vocals spin a tale over a spell-bound audience. We listen to the beautiful voice backed up with touching composition and allow the song to drive us away over the mountain. We're treated to a sultry and sensual song of sad feelings. It's followed by a snappy drum-beat. Shimmers of guitar vibrate in shaded areas while vocal inflections make rnb style sounds at specific timings. The guitar chugs along with bass carrying most of the weight. Spoken word style vocals spill verses across geographic landscapes of manicured sound. Wavery phonics shift and turn in glistening bars filled with loveliness and warmth. Attic No. 7 is perhaps a secret place where world-changing plans are brewed and sampled.
The tenth number is In The Mean Time. It begins with a radiant guitar fill that dances on its neatly positioned axis. Vocals are added, and the rhythmic flow is let loose on the hillside. We twirl with melodic lines with story time lyrics that bounce on pads of percussion enveloped in chords. More harmonising sections uplift in airy draughts of sonic clarity. Blues guitar once again rings out, formulating a sense of rockabilly easy-going fun. This is followed by a heavier sounding number that froths with distorted chord strikes and upbeat drumming. Hook embellished vocals call out once more with sing-a-long lines we can't help but enjoy. A folk timing with heavy rock elements allows Story Of Them All to stand out slightly from the more relaxing numbers.
The album ends with Untitled 4. Who knows the history of 1, 2, and 3? Perhaps we'll have to look at their previous albums to find out. A slowed down guitar plays out in an empty room. Solitary notes flicker like candles as a moody vocal enters with hushed lyrics. A wind-down song that fulfils a sense of closure ends with space-aged whistle-chimes that soar out into our dreamy audial area.
This fun and catchy album is laid back to back with classic numbers which each have a soul of their own. A friendly rock 'n' roll delivery mixed with classical melodies and homely closeness allows us to hear this band in person from where ever we happen to be.
Find out more and buy music by Stars and Rabbit on their website
Find their videos on YouTube
Listen to Stars and Rabbit on Soundcloud
Follow them on Facebook
Also: Find a world of Asian culture, films, and music on YesAsia. Your purchases reward this blog so go crazy!
Rowan Blair Colver for Alternative Fruit. Part of the Homunculus Media Group. Alternative Fruit is reader supported independent media. Please offer what you can when you can. Thank you, so much.
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