UK soul singer extraordinaire Hannah Williams has formed a tight new band with the Affirmations and they make the kind of incendiary, stomp-your-feet and clap-your-hands soul music that lit up the ‘60s and ‘70s. Pairing with Bristol’s the Affirmations has given Williams a super fine level of musicianship to pair with her burn-down-the-house vocals. Hannah Williams and the Affirmations’ new album, Late Nights & Heartbreak, released back on 18 November. Today we’re premiering a fresh single for you, the Northern soul number “Tame in the Water”, which begins with beautifully phrased gentle vocals and rises into an emotional, soul stomper where Williams really belts it out holding nothing back.
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Kevin Russell spent much of his musical career with the Gourds, an Austin-based Americana band that was highly influential in the development of alt-country and the growing Americana scene. During his lengthy tenure leading that group, Russell would occasionally step out for solo gigs in Houston as Shinyribs, and he released a couple of records under that moniker. Now that the Gourds are on hiatus, Russell is doubling down on his Shinyribs project. He assembled a full band this year and they have a new record coming down the pike with I Got Your Medicine scheduled for 24 February 2017.
Electropop master Schiller recently released his ninth album, Future, to critical acclaim in his native Germany and it soared to number one on the charts there. Now Future is coming out in the U.S. on December 16th. Schiller describes the new record as being cinematic in scope and indeed it features walls of glistening big sound that is highly atmospheric in nature. Working on the album in Los Angeles and the Mojave Desert, aided Schiller in creating songs that both rise high and maximalist like the great urban centers of our cities, while quieting down to introspective moments. The contrasts are gorgeous and make Future both compelling dance music and scintillating headphone dreamscapes.
George Morris has a singular ability to make his stardusted songs sound both expansive and tight, indefinably anachronistic yet fresh. Listen to “100 Years”, the wisely chosen first single off his forthcoming LP, for proof.
Composed of three movements orbiting each other like celestial bodies, the tune opens with shuffling drums, evocatively plinking keys, and a subtle acoustic guitar. “All of my friends are dead”, Morris sings in his serpentine falsetto, before the 45-second mark hits and the buildup shifts down to an undulating groove in the pre-chorus. When the refrain arrives, the ebb and flow tension culminates like a torrent breaking through a dam. On reaching this catharsis, the breakneck percussion and sparkling ambiance make the cut an unabashed anthem.
Mondo Cozmo is what you get when you mix the anthemic Britpop of the Verve and Oasis with contemporary Americana and the folk rock of Bob Dylan. It’s an intoxicating blend of sounds, designed for the largest of arena stages. Cozmo creates a big sound that reaches right in and grabs you by the heart. “Shine” is Cozmo’s latest single and it’s marching up the AAA charts. I highly recommend checking Cozmo out at a show now, before he starts selling out Wembley.