The Fatea office also serves as a home for our weekly Along The Tracks show on Blues & Roots Radio and as a rule singles and Eps have generally gone in that direction whilst Fatea generally concentrates on albums and live reviews for our full length feature, but with more artists going back down the single root to keep themselves in the public eye, we thought it was time to reflect that in our offerings and as rules are made to be broken or at the very least adapted, welcome to the Singles Round Up. Adam Jenkins.
The Delta Bell have released a double A-side of two new songs to raise money for The Trussell Trust and The National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal. Kate Gerrard's May You Bring Light is a wonderfully upbeat and uplifting track, quick of tempo and almost gospel-like in places. Beth Chesser's The New And The Old is a different beast entirely, a lot slower but full of beauty, with gorgeous fragile vocals. Either song would be well worth paying for on their own, but with both of them together, and raising money for good causes, these surely become essential purchases.
One can always rely on Steve Pledger to have something musical and meaningful to say in troubled times. Written in the period before anything was announced in terms of help for the self-employed, it was fervently that this song would be out of date within days of release, but sadly that isn't quite the case for so many. You know what you are going to get from Mr Pledger, and this single does not disappoint. Prayer of the Self Employed is full of heart, humanity and honesty. The single is available for free for his Patreon followers, or for purchase direct from his website.
Rising alternative folk star Freya Ward has released the first of three planned singles over the coming months. You Could Be My Sanctuary is a stunning start, with it's strong vocals and its beautiful melodic arrangement. There's a lot of warmth and comfort to be found in Ward's vocal performance; a feeling of safety at a time when life seems anything but. The single is a shining example of why Devon based Ward's star is on the ascendency, and the message of thinking before you speak and avoiding being judgemental seems timely to say the least.
This collaboration of Scottish singer songwriter Kat Healy, and Scottish singer Karina Smille, came about in celebration of Women's History Month. The song will be familiar to many, and has seen several versions over the years, but Healy and Smille's version feels very fresh, and there is something quite uplifting and inspiring about it. The harmonies are perfect, and they infuse the vocals with a vitriolic fire that gives it a real lift. It's a beautiful take on James Oppenheim's poem, and well worth a listen.
London singer-songwriter Marina Florance unleashes her incredible vocal talents again with a new single. How Did We Ever Come To This is a gorgeous song, but undoubtedly a sad one, full of an aching loneliness that will chime with many at the moment. Mark Jolley features prominently on the release, with backing vocals that help elevate the song, and his violin plays throughout adding to the mournful tone. If you can handle a little more sadness at the moment, this is a truly beautiful song.
Cambridge based singer songerwriter Chris Fox has been getting some rave reviews for his live performances, as well as for his his three albums. There is something quite theatrical about his latest single, with its clean and strong vocals up front and centre. Fox's voice is impressive, full of strength and warmth, with a mesmerising quality to it. We Sing Hooray is utterly captivating, and quite a fun listen.
I doubt many debut singles were written, composed, recorded and produced in just one week, let alone from a lockdown situation. Emma Gale did just that for Let's See What The Earth Has To Say, which is inspired by the current Covid 19 situation that has swept across the world this year. Covering the fragility of human existence, this is a song about surrendering control and realising maybe we don't really need what we thought we did. As debuts go this is impressive, and bodes well for her first album coming later in the year.
Circles is the latest single from Glasgow based Pedro Cameron as Man Of The Minch, and is a real toe tapper of a tune. Aided by the incredibly gifted Laura Wilkie on the fiddle, this is a fast paced and catchy anthemic song. It's strong pop hooks makes this a real anthemic crowd pleaser. Alternative indie, mixed with roots based Americana, Circles is a truly enjoyable single that will leave you humming along hours later.
Irish folk quartet Pine The Pilcrow are getting quite a following with their original sound, which combines elements of folk and classical music. If It's True is a captivating slow-burner of a track which entices you along before building up to an impressive climax. Musically this soars throughout, with the slightly gruff and gravelly vocals slightly at odds with it, creating something that feels almost epic. This is a wonderful single.
This title track single from her second album is a wonderfully vibrant and surprisingly complex track. There is a rawness and honesty on display wrapped up in a high tempo anthem, looking at the intricacies of a relationship that doesn't work, and learning to let go of it. The new album is getting some superb reviews, and if the other songs are as strong as this single, it's no wonder. Cold Comfort is the kind of track you could listen to over and over again.
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