New Music Revue

From time to time, the Music Enthusiast comes out of his cave and stops whining about “why isn’t blues more popular” and “whatever happened to the Sixties?” Or, “is the electric guitar really dead?” 😀 And then he listens to new music and finds out that, hey, some of it is pretty good. Herewith a few songs that came to my attention recently and for which I hope you can spend a few minutes of your time.

First up is a bloke based in Manchester, UK named James Holt. His website says this: “James Holt is an alt-rock artist from the moors of Bolton and is receiving attention and praise from music industry giants such as legendary producer Brian Eno and the listening public alike.” In fact, he has a picture of himself meeting Eno and seems appreciably gobsmacked as would I.

The song is called “Whatever Happened to John,” and it’s a bracing shot of what sounds to these ears like good old Brit blues-rock. If you wandered into the Marquee in London in the early-to-mid 60’s, it might sound something like this. “Fresh and exciting to listen to,” Eno says. Yeah:

Spotify link  SoundCloud link

Here’s a brief Daisy Clark (pictured on top of post) bio: She’s a “19-year-old singer-songwriter from Newquay, Cornwall on the English South Coast. Her distinctive voice and style has made her a much sought after act on the South Coast live music scene, resulting in her performing at many top festivals and venues. After several viral successes her profile is now raising across International shores.”

Man, that’s impressive. I think back over the years to when I was 19. I couldn’t do shit. I like this tune, gang. Daisy has a nice soulful feel to her voice. It’s pop but it’s good pop, what fellow blogger CirdecSongs called Intelli-pop. This song is called “Worlds Away.” Go ahead, dance to it. I am. Nobody’s watching:

Spotify link

From the Yawpers website: “Shimmering against blacktop fever dreams and Elvis’ ghostly sneer are the anarchic impulses of the MC5 and and psychedelic muscle of Leslie West’s Mountain and Blue Cheer. Raw and melodic, infectious and irreverent, [their album] American Man is an update on the Springsteen tramp’s dream of getting out while you’re young… It’s the suicide rap played out in the desert, without velvet rims or everlasting kisses…”

Ok, fuck me, you’ve gotta hear them at least once, right? The band consists of three hell-bent guys from Denver, a drummer and two acoustic guitars. I know. I don’t get it either. But it works. I bet they put on a scorching show. They go all French on us with a (rockabilly?) scorcher called “Mon Dieu.”

Spotify link

You know what would go over well right now, Jimbo, you’re saying to yourself? A nice shot of some dub reggae-inflected music. Oxford-based reggae 9-piece ZAIA released their debut album Butterflies on 26 May. The album has been described as a “brilliant slice of simple summer listening that you won’t tire of” by The Norwich Radical and “a near perfect Summer album” by Nightshift Magazine.”

I’m digging this tune called “Under the Tree.” It floats my boat and yeah, summer-time, convertible top down, driving down the road without a care in the world. Chillout music. Sparkling lead vocal by Amy MacKown.

Spotify link

8 thoughts on “New Music Revue

  1. Yeah, seems that way, huh? It occurred to me one day in a flash of blinding realization how decimated my record and CD collection would be minus the Brits. Beatles, Pink Floyd, Stones, all that Brit blues. They have had a major impact on my life, that’s for sure.

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  2. Good stuff Doc. Just proof on what we’ve been saying. People still want good quality music. The masses don’t count. James Holt is my style. Here’s the kicker. I just filed a take on ‘Get Out of Denver’ by Seger. The Yawpers are really my style. I’m kinda stuck in that time zone at times. You’re like Dick Clark and CB is like some goofball rating records. I like them all Dick.

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    1. Yeah I kinda dug listening to them as a set. Did that 3 or 4 times. Fun. I kinda figured you’d like Holt and Yawpers especially. There’s a picture of Yawpers in action on their site. It looks like a hell of a gig. Dick Clark. Once upon a time American Bandstand was an important part of music culture. Hmm, there’s a possible post.

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  3. CB made pretty much that same argument in a comment. There seems to always be more chaff than wheat out there. But it was ever thus. I’ve been reading some early interviews with U2 (’82-’83) and they spoke of their exasperation with what was out there back then. (Lots of synth stuff, MTV wannabes.) And so, to the point many of made in the guitar post, we just need to keep panning for gold. It’s always there somewhere.

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  4. Top notch selection there, Jim. I didn’t take to the Yawpers but the other three really fired me up.

    Curiosity corner: The ZAIA YouTube video isn’t available where I am. Your Spotify link works. But if you search for ‘zaia’ on Spotify you get an artist with that name whose only release is a single called Slow It Down. However, if you ask Spotify to display all matches for ‘zaia’ it offers five artists: Zara Larsson, Zaia, Zaia, Zaian, Zaiaku (in that order) and the second Zaia is the one you mention here. (I guess there are two bands called Zaia and neither are as popular as Zara Larsson.)

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    1. Ironically the Yawpers are the most established band of the three. I dug the set, too. Weirdly, they seemed to work together. I like everything but lean towards Holt a little. I like that sound.

      I noticed that about Zaia too. I wonder if they know how popular that name is. Oh, well. Must be next to impossible to come up with a group name that isn’t taken.

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