Releases

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Greg Holden
Album:I Don't Believe You
Label:My World
Website: http://www.gregholdenonline.com
Aberdeen born New York based, via Lancashire, Brighton and London, singer/songwriter Greg Holden, is an artist very much in troubadour tradition, allowing the music to dictate his journeys and his journeys to write is songs. "I Don't Believe You" is a sharp and cutting album that seems capable of shattering as many dreams as it inspires. It's a very honest album, one that has brooding anger and self loathing, but also one that has a real sense of freedom that can also see the good in people, places and ideas. This is an album that turns life into songs and that can be harsh.

Katie Costello
Album:Lamplight
Label:My World
Website: http://www.katiecostellomusic.com
Unusually for an American artist, well these days at least, Katie Costello, has an English feel to her sound. "Lamplight" sounds as if it draws part of it's inspiration from the Brit Beat Invasion and then been updated by the current London folk scene. It's a beautiful album, with soft focus backing supporting poetry set to music, to give an end sound that is at the thinking end of acoustic pop. Costello has a way with words that allow her to inject a lot of double meanings into some of her songs and to change perspectives. Good song writing deserves to be executed like this.

Catherine A.D.
Mini Album:Keep It Together
Label:Self Released
Website: http://www.catherinead.com
Communion is both sharing ideas and ideals between a group of people and the taking in of the body and the blood in a spiritual way. "Communion" underpins those spiritual shape and whilst not completely dark it is a mysterious album and followers of Catherine AD wouldn't have it any other way. With piano and strings the album and Catherine's smokey vocals this is an album that gives gothic magnificence a new twist. The album describes it's listing as an order of service and I think it probably is. If your quick enough to the website you may still get the special limited edition.

Northern Lights
Album:Dubh Agus Gael - Darkness And Light Loric Colloquies
Label:Foras Na Gaeilge
Website: http//www.lorcanmacmathuna.com/northernlights
"Dubh Gael - Darkness And Light loric Colloquies" is an album that celebrates the similarities between Celtic and Norse music streams, though unlike the other albums that I've heard exploring that area this year, this one is rooted in Ireland. That makes a lot of sense as Dublin was a major trading city during the dark ages bringing the two cultures together. Northern Lights are a trio of traditional musicians drawn from other bands and projects who have got together under the stewardship of Lorcan Mac Mathuna to deliveran exciting and interesting album.

Andy Burrows
Single:If I Had A Heart
Label:Distiller Singles Club
Website: http://www.facebook.com/andywburrows
"If I had A Heart" sees drummer Andy Burrows step out from behind the kit and into the metaphorical limelight. Having drummed for both Razorlight and We Are Scientists, this single release shows that he is far more than a stickman destined to be separated from his audience. The single is a little on the poppy side for my taste, but it's difficult to fault the composition. It's got a radio friendly feel to it, but I don't think there's been a compromise to get the sound. Unfortunately I don't think it has enough to set it apart from similar recordings on bigger labels and it'll struggle for that.

Fiona Cuthill & Stevie Lawrence
Album:A Cruel Kindness
Label:Fellside
Website: http://www.facebook.com/fionacuthillandstevielawrence
If they remake Trumpton in Scotland, I do hope that Fiona Cuthill & Stevie Lawrence get to do the music. There is a whimsy in their music that would fit right in. "A Cruel Kindness" is an album of contemporary tunes and an occasional song from a traditional root. If having two musicians of the quality of fiddle Cuthill and multi-instrumentalist Lawrence on this album isn't enough to sell this to you outright, Rachel Hair and Brendan McCreanor can be counted amongst the guests. This is a lively album full of time and key changes, sharp and sassy and damned fine entertainment.

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