Released at the beginning of October this probably ranks as King Khan’s best album to date.
Rising to fame with tracks like ‘Welfare Bread’ and ‘I Wana be a Girl’ King Khan (real name Arish Khan) cornered a niche market for low-fi reinterpretations of a classic rock, soul and psych-rock 1970s sound.
Their work with the Black Lips, who also work with a similar sound, has also lead to some brilliant collaborations under the ‘super group’ moniker The Almighty Defenders.
Their sound has certainly developed on this album however, whilst retaining some of pumping Motown energy of their earlier albums.
‘Bite my Tongue’ has something of an early Van Morrison or Kinks sound to it and with a glamorous string section and thumping drum part ‘Thorn in her Pride’ feels like any number of early 70s Motown hits, Otis Redding’s version of “(I Can’t Get no) Satisfaction” certainly comes to mind.
Most of all the album stands out from some of their other stuff as has a real melancholic edge to it. ‘Of Madness I Dream’ and ‘Darkness’ add a blues string to an otherwise occasionally sugary musical bow.
Standing out among the blues-y numbers on Idle No More is ‘Pray for Lil’; a near immaculate soul ballad with vocals from Jena Rocker about Khan’s relationship with his wife.
Idle No More is everything King Khan and the Shrines always were, with a bit more depth.
Recorded in Nashville, Tennessee and produced by John Nicholson, ‘Turn Faith to Love’ is the wonderful new album from Jene Caster.
Jene Caster was born into a world where calling someone ‘an artist’ was said with disgust as opposed to admiration; where his mother disapproved of her son becoming the musician he is today. After an upbringing that taught him that music is an indecent career, Jene turned everything around when he was caught with a piano he’d painted on some paper sheets in a desperate attempt to teach himself the instrument. Jene began breaking into the music class room at school and teaching himself the piano in complete darkness from fear of attracting the attentions of the janitors and teachers. As he began to practice more regularly, the janitor started leaving the music room door unlocked until Jene had finished playing, she even said she liked his music.
‘Turn Faith to Love’ is a nine track album full of inspirational lyrics, catchy riffs and hearty harmonica. Beginning with a soft introduction, a finger picking section leading into a fuller sounding rhythmic guitar section accompanied by an easy-listening beat, ‘In Your Arms’ is a gentle song written with real passion. Not all songs are gentle though, songs like ‘Sitting on the Couch’ and ‘Lord, I Love You Too’ which both have a distinct foot-tap urging beat. ‘Turn Faith to Love’ is certainly an upbeat pop rock album with a religious twist, inspirational and motivating-this album is sure to catch the attention of Christian rock fans everywhere.
“Jene, you truly are a poet.”- Chip Davis, songwriter
Taking a satirical swipe at the excesses and vices of the USA, Dirty Louie has released new rock ‘n’ roll single ‘Suck It for the USA’.
Based in Venezuela, Dirty Louie experiences his chosen target through the eyes of an outsider, an immigrant with a twisted view of The American Dream.
Not for the easily offended, it puts a new twist on the typical fresh faced young girl who comes to the city and has to literally battle for acceptance. Behind the controversy courting visuals, the track is a solid rock tune with a catchy riff and infectious chorus that it’s hard to push from your brain once it’s found a place there.
But behind the fun, upbeat rock exterior, Dirty Louie has a point to make. The music is all about the injustices and inequalities he has seen first-hand in developing countries, and contrasting that with the excesses of his North American neighbours.
Musically inspired by his surroundings, Dirty Louie has spent his life moving from country to country and culture to culture in South America. Hoping to inspire others, he wants to provide a stage for Latin American Art – by curating a show for Mexican artists in his Dorian Grey Gallery in the East Village.
In the meantime, he invites you into his worldview, and challenges you to ‘Suck It for the USA’
Part of the New Wave era with the band Fast Cars, Steve Murray is back with a new sound, a new album and a new single.
The acoustic rock track ‘Angels & Butterflies’ is an uplifting track about overcoming adversity, with a strong country vibe and a distinctive vocal performance by Murray himself. It’s a great example of the new approach he’s taken for his new album, a mellow, stripped back style of rock that suits his voice perfectly.
The LP itself, ‘Audio Book’, was released to raise funds for a charity called “Georgia’s Children of the World” set up by Steve and his daughter Georgia’s friends, after she unfortunately passed away following complications in her third heart operation. Available now but slated for a possible re-issue early in 2014, it’s a strong collection of songs full of positive messages, a value it shares with its writer.
‘Audio Book’ is the latest release in an enviable musical career. As well as working on projects alongside the likes of Mark Riley (6 Music), Paul Weller and The Jam and Joy Division, Steve Murray was the songwriter of ‘The Kids Just Wanna Dance’ – a Fast Cars single that is now amongst the top 20 most collectible from the period. Recently released on an album by Californian band Emily’s Army, the song was hand picked by Billy Joe Armstong of Green Day who also produced the album which features his son Joey on drums
The Retrospectives are a Sheffield based punk rock trio with bags of energy, who have quickly built a reputation for themselves through their work ethic and constant gigging,
Raised on the music of their parents and inspired by the likes of Elvis Costello, Tom Petty and The Rolling Stones as well the punk movement of the 1970s, the band release their second EP as their live fan base continues to grow.
Now at the forefront of Sheffield’s vibrant music scene, The Retrospectives have been named by Q Magazine as one of the top 5 bands to watch in the city. Having supported Bruce Foxton (The Jam) during a recent tour, their live schedule for the rest of the year sees them play with The Boomtown Rats, accompany The Last Carnival on their UK tour and play a string of acoustic dates with indie folk pop band My First Tooth.
EP track ‘No Affection’ has been chosen for the release’s first music video and you can see it here:
It’s not hard to see why they’re gaining such plaudits for the energy of their live shows. Having now translated that to the studio, this is set to be the first of many exciting releases for this promising trio.
17 year old teen star Luke Friend has hit the headlines again – this time live shows in the tenth series of ITV’s The X Factor with resounding successwith The X Factor judging panel praising the star, including Sharon Osbourne who has returned from exile saying “Luke I am crazy about you! You are quite fabulous.” Luke Friend opened the show and was also the first to be invited to the live arena auditions.
West Country boy Luke Friend has just come off the back of being crowned the winner of the singing competition TeenStar in July, the nationwide competition for teens and pre-teens! The TeenStar singing competition’s Grand Final took place within The O2 in London and gave acts the chance to play in front of a massive crowd and music industry judging panel.
Other X Factor judges include former Pussy Cat Dolls singer Nicole Scherzinger who told 17-year-old Luke Friend that he’s a “little diamond of rough” as he took to the audition room with Ben E. King’s Stand By Me. Louis Walsh commented “You have your own style, your own finish, love your voice. You’re different.”
Luke Friend has already impressed an impressive judging panel at TeenStar who crowned the star singing competition winner. The TeenStar judging panel included former Radio 1 DJ and Choice FM presenter Ras Kwame who first discovered Emeli Sande, four time Ivor Novello award winner Mark Hill, Choice FM presenter E Plus, Capital FM producer and celebrity journo Jon Hornbuckle, Editor of Shout Magazine Ali Henderson, Head of BGM Michael King and Head of Future Music Chris Grayston who first discovered Birdy through the Open Mic UK music competition, so Luke’s talent was in good hands to be judged.
Chris Grayston remembers Luke Friend from the Open Mic UK competition, saying “It’s great to watch Luke’s development over the years and now he’s found his own image, sound and confidence there’s nothing stopping him!”
Much talk was also of Luke’s hair which he revealed to the judge panel he hadn’t washed for 9 months. Perhaps it’s just as well they keep themselves behind a desk!
Check out Luke Friend this weekend on ITV’s The X Factor, and also on:
Joe Lewis hails from Austin, TX – the collision centre where Southern soul meets mid-western blues and vagabond punk. Unable to keep away from the infectious music scene Austin is infamous for, Joe Lewis soaked it all in and soon found himself purchasing his first guitar while working in a pawnshop. The rest is history.
Once compared to “The Godfather of Soul”, we hear Black Joe Lewis letting his punk- flag fly on the group’s third studio album, Electric Slave, released in the UK via Vagrant Records on November 18th. Black Joe Lewis perfected his gritty shouting and raw guitar riffs, honing his signature sound on the band’s upcoming album.
Electric Slave kicks off with in-your-face opener ‘Skulldiggin,’ which showcases Joe howling in true Joe-Lewis-fashion all the while highlighting just how ballsy Lewis can really get. Of the album title, Lewis says, “Electric Slave is what people are today with their faces buried in their iPhones and the only way to hold a conversation is through text. The next step is to plug it in to your damned head.”
Much like not wanting to be a slave to our cell phones, Black Joe Lewis refuses to be confined to genre-defining boundaries or cater to only one of his many musical influences on his third LP. Lewis still has plenty of women chasing, hard-knocks and all-around good time tales to tell as we hear on tracks like ‘Young Girls,’ ‘Make Dat Money,’ and ‘Come To My Party.’ And as always, Lewis somehow finds a way to make tracks full of horns and blues riffs to rival the likes of rocker Iggy Pop.
Electric Slave was produced in large part by Grammy award winner Stuart Sikes (White Stripes, Cat Power, Modest Mouse) and recorded at Church House Studios in Austin. Three of the new tracks (‘Skulldiggin,’ ‘Dar Es Salaam,’ ‘My Blood Ain’t Runnin’ Right’) were recorded and produced by John Congleton (Explosions in the Sky, St. Vincent, Okkervil River) at Elmwood Studios in Dallas.
Electric Slave will be released in the UK on November 18th on Vagrant Records.