Avon Cottage an indie rock band from Calne in England comprises James E Anderson ( Vocals / Guitar), Jack Burston (Guitar), Murray Somerville (Bass) and Simon Weeds (Drums).
There is a distinctly underground air to the sounds that Avon Cottage produce as they are unafraid to push the edges a little without it becoming overly complicated, but adding enough of a shift to pull the listener to pay more attention. The music is an evocative flurry of high energy and rapidly delivered phrases which tumble across the room in perfect unison, as a real credit to the relative inexperience of the players.
The lyrics reflect both on personal relationships and a broader canvas of integration within a wider community delivered to a saw-tooth of guitar accompanied by a well-defined percussion that lends considerable power to the material.
It was some months ago that I spoke to James for the Indie Music Tips series when he chatted to me about measures of success and it is a pleasure to hear some more of the music.
Although having to improvise with towels and bedroom furniture to create a vocal booth, the end result is a smartly recorded four track demo EP by Avon Cottage. Creativity for Independent Musicians extends not to just creating the songs, but finding a way to record them.
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KynchinLay an alt indie band from Liverpool centres around K G Wilson (Vocals / Guitar), Damien Welsh (Drums) and Mal Williams (Bass).
There are a melange of retrospective new wave and ska influences that weave their way through the music of KynchinLay, that isn’t to say this is a tour through the history books as the material breathes of the moment.
The contemplative sounds slide out of the speakers in black clouds of angst that wrap around the head in an enveloping embrace, as percussion and bass lay the frame for the compositions. The arterial flow comes through a precise guitar over which plays the vocal commentary of the social mores of the environment around. The tracks are varied in texture and whilst each stands well on its own the cohesion of the full spread far better demonstrates the abilities of the band.
The highly creative musicians whilst extrapolating the conundrums of the times, also seem somewhat inextricably caught up in them as they continue to release singles rather than doing what makes more sense to the listener – combining them together to give a full perspective.
I have been in contact with the band for some time and it is when I now put fingers to keyboard that I am able to define what I find frustrating and has held me back so far. Please let the songs out in one EP as in context it all makes far more sense than disjointed singles. Sure I appreciate that many people prefer to purchase singles, but if the music needs releasing as a body of work, then it needs releasing as a body of work. I am sort of drawn to the concept – had Sham 69 released the fourteen tracks of That’s Life one by one, would it have made sense? I fear that while KynchinLay have so much to offer they are being prescriptive in the doses they allow the fans to hear.
However if you happen to be anywhere near where they are playing live, then I am sure it is a different story as the music that they do release on recording is of the highest quality and it is a pleasure to introduce KynchinLay to Emerging Indie Bands.
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Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet is Henke Wermelin (Vocals), Carl Ederfors (Drums), Håkan Jansson (Bass), Sarah Görsch (Piano), Josef Wikström (Guitar), Mattias Gyllström (Trombone) and Jonas Hultberg (Saxophone) an alt rock band from Göteborg in Sweden.
Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet – Photo by Emelie Wermelin
Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet is something of a change from many of the bands that wing their way to me from Sweden. The material oozes of Americana country rock to which the band adds a Scandinavian twist, but in the main musically essentially fairly upbeat and uptempo, to which the lyrics superbly wrestle with societal inequalities.
The core quintet function on multifarious levels choosing to add the players of trombone and sax as the occasion arises to add even more dimensions to individual tracks.
It is the ability of Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet to take a what is essentially fairly one dimensional and add a spectrum of textures that attracts the ears. The cohesion of the wide open American Plains and the landscapes of Sweden somehow makes sense and it almost as-though that is what the band is aurally painting for the listener.
This isn’t music to play just before heading out on a hen / stag -night, but it is something to add to the track list towards the close down of an evening with friends. Resonant of a great evening of intelligent and wide-ranging conversations.
The New Black Is Blue – Henke Wermelin & Nattskiftet is available on iTunes*
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Sweet Jane is Danda (Guitar / Vocals), Ruairi Paxton (Bass), Donagh O’Brien (Drums), Neil Paxton (Keys / Guitars / Vocals) and Conor Paxton (Guitar) a psychedelic rock band from Dublin in Ireland.
You are left with the feeling Sweet Jane is the music that Hawkwind would have put together had they had a tighter reign. There is a potent chameleonic wave of tempos and sounds that drift lazily across the room, billowing progressively, to create music that completely wraps the head in its various textures.
Whilst the music is multi-layered with a range of sounds meeting the ears, it is not confusing, allowing the listener to relate to the out-put and become involved. Sweet Jane is a group of well versed musicians who handle their compositions gently, allowing the widely spaced refrains plenty of time to express themselves before blending in the next phrase, which gives the tracks fluidity and creating the over all effect of music that is emerging from smoke.
It was a few months ago that Dan, from the independent label Reekus Records, also based in Dublin, made contact, but this occasion, the slow progression from email to review suits the music well and I look forward to spending time in the future held by the soft embrace of Sweet Jane.
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RAU is Maggy (Guitar / Vocals), Kay-Uwe Dörflinger (Drums) and Jim Albrand (Bass) an alternative rock band from Cuxhaven in Germany.
The music fairly tears into the room with a percussion that wraps itself into the head and involuntary the body joins in with the frenetic beat being set by the double time tempo. Whilst the overall effect is one of a band in a hurry, RAU, keeps it all under control creating a smartly composed out-put.
This part of Lower Saxony is a fine hotbed of creativity as established readers will recall another find covered last year on the old site. Introducing a range of influences, including reggae and US indie, RAU successfully take the lighter textures and give them a sanding to deliver a darker rock effect which holds together extremely well.
The vocal is finely delivered and creates a good contrast to the gruffer instrumental accompaniment lifting the music to a creativity which is a great addition to the world of music. I look forward to hearing more of RAU in the future. Their six track release Keine Sau Kennt RAU which sees them showcasing the breadth of their sounds, from the slower pace folk derivative to the higher tempo, which in my view is their core strength, should find them make a more decisive impact and build their audience.
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