16 songs, 54 min, 13 min reading time.
I’m a touring singer-songwriter and the playlist is a collection of great emerging musicians I’ve met on the road.
1) “Where We Go From Now” – Stone Bear
These boys are a blues two-piece from Warwickshire. I met them through music and now consider them good friends. Winter 2018 I was running an Open Mic in the French Alps when David (the lead singer) gets up to play some songs. He blew me away. We kept in touch and a year later I invited them to play a festival stage I was curating for Under The Hill in Worcestershire. That set was the highlight of the festival for me.
Their song “Where We Go From Now” is from their latest release and is just a masterpiece of groove. I buy everything about this track, starting smooth and closing with a loose letting of emotion.
Album: “Stone Bear” (2018)
Label: David John
2) “Rose Tinted Eyes” – Seth & Eliza
These two are a Suffolk based indie-folk duo who I met at a fantastic Open Mic at the Angel Pub in Woodbridge while I was working on new music at a studio near there. They were a league above in my eyes and I invited Eliza to play violin on a song of mine called “Time”. Seth also joined for gang vocals in the crescendo of my song “Unrelenting”.
Their track “Rose-Tinted Eyes” is their first ever release and I was so impressed. I even got to hear the track before release and was given the privilege of giving my feedback on it. The folky honesty in the musicality and lyrics are an exciting foreword to the music that is to come. I’m a fan already!
Single: “Rose-Tinted Eyes” (2019)
Label: Hut Sound
3) “All Mine” – Masha Maria
It is no exaggeration to say that Masha was instrumental in me becoming a musician. I don’t know whether I would be here without her calming encouragement and friendship in the very early days. The first time I played my own tracks at an Open Mic in the town of Groningen in Holland in 2014, she was there and we became great friends.
“All Mine” is a stand out track from a fantastic EP she produced during my time there. The gentle interplay between yawning strings and her poised lamenting vocals always touches a special place in me. The only travesty is how little attention this EP got publicly, but to me, it’s a favourite.
EP: “Homes” (2017)
Label: 726356 Records
4) “10 Days” – Wynnm
When touring Holland in summer 2019, I stopped into a recommended Open Mic in Amsterdam. The standard was great and I was welcomed by a friendly group of talented musicians. Wynnm was one of these musicians and when she stood to sing I was transported. I love that feeling. Just magnetic wonder.
“10 Days” dances between the light and the shadows with it’s simple airy picked guitar foreground against an achingly beautiful vocal and an ethereal backdrop of heavily reverbed strings and effects. Just perfect for those days when my dark heart needs a companion.
Single: “10 Days” (2019)
I met Vital at BBC Introducing Live in 2018 when I recorded an awesome freestyle of his on a podium stage. Ed and I played the same festival stage at Punchbowl Farm Festival in Wiltshire during summer 2019. My enduring memory of Ed that day was that he was just a lovely human being with a real talent for individuality and musical construction. The fact Ed and Vital would end up working together and releasing in 2019 is just a wonderful example of how small the scene sometimes feels. What a great pairing though!
“Four Sides and a Pointed Top” is a contemporary marvel. Ed’s vocals sit above a mesmerising loop track that rises and falls against counter melody. Vital’s poignant rap towards the end offers fantastic texture to an already accomplished track. Exciting to see where these guys go!
Single: “Four Sides and a Pointed Top” (2019)
Label: Brox Records
6)”Emily” – Charlie Law (Misery Guts)
I was offered a ticket to Charlie’s gig in Ipswich by the aforementioned Seth (of Seth & Eliza fame). Charlie was charming, funny and a master of the stage. His songs danced between genres and I was lucky enough to have a chat with him the following day about his musical path during a wander along the banks of the river Deben.
“Emily” is simply a perfect, catchy acoustic tale. After Charlie played this track live it was stuck in my head for about four weeks. I have no doubt that I’ll be humming “I’m in love with Emily” for many, many years to come!
Single: “Acrylics” (2019)
Label: Charlie Law
7) “Mr Alcohol” – Paddy James
Paddy and I were asked to play a garden party for a friend down in Cornwall in summer 2019. I knew of Paddy from the French Alps, but it was a real pleasure to see him to play live finally, until he absolutely smashed it with his total ease of vocal poise and incredible guitar skill. I felt rather insecure all of a sudden! Paddy then asked me to support him during his headline show in London (what a legend), so I had even more insecurity to look forward to!!
“Mr Alcohol” is exactly what I love about Paddy’s music. The clarity and cleverness of his lyrics sit so easily over a beautifully balanced easy guitar anthem to which many of us can relate I’m sure! My gut tells me that Paddy is going somewhere special. He just has everything you need to break into the upper levels. I’ll look forward to watching his ascent.
EP: “Lost Boy” (2016)
Label: SOAC Records
8) “Boyz II Men” – Jerome Arab
9) “Joy” – Connor Patterson
In Autumn 2019, I attended a conference called BBC Introducing Live in London. I met Jerome and Connor at this conference in the queue for an Open Mic slot, but due to popularity, all the slots were taken up. As the last three in the queue, we decided to share the slot and had a jam session for 15 minutes together. I seem to remember we jammed to Bill Withers and Bob Marley. Both these guys are creating great music and it was a pleasure to play with them so randomly!
Album: “Prominent” (2019)
Label: The Hills Music Entertainment
Single: “Joy” (2016)
Label: CP Records
10) “Who Do You Think You Are” – A.N.G
A.N.G is Angelle Joseph, who I met at BBC Introducing Suffolk during a live session I played for them. Angelle is not only a presenter for the show, but is a rapper and artist in her own right. I baked her and her team a cake… the rest is history.
“Who Do You Think You Are” is a real statement piece from A.N.G. Although Angelle hasn’t released much to Spotify, the track feels like a proud clearing of the throat on which to build a larger portfolio. Despite my preference for a more sensitive style of rap and hip-hop from the likes of Loyle Carner and Kate Tempest, I find myself singing Angelle’s track at random points of the week. A good sign.
Single: “Who Do You Think You Are?” (2019)
Label: BRG Records
11) “Always Bring the Sunshine” – Mungo Parker
Mungo and I crossed paths at an Open Mic in London and a bond was formed very quickly. Seemingly we are on a very similar musical path and meeting fellow humans such as Mungo helps to remind me what’s important in my life.
“Always Bring the Sunshine” is the latest offering from him and for me, one of the most complete tracks he’s produced. Delicate and memorable with some simply beautiful guitar work. Reminiscent of an early Ben Howard.
Album: “Always Brings the Sunshine” (2019)
Label: Mungo Parker
12) “Leesylvania” – Hannah Rebekah
13) “In The Light” – Melissa Bel
Hannah and Melissa don’t know each other, but I met them both in the same way. Queuing for stuff at a music conference! What a joy to bump into fellow musicians to then listen to their creations. Sometimes being a musician can be a lonely road, but for me there are few greater joys than putting music to a face in this way.
Single: “Leesylvania” (2019)
Label: Chamuel Records
Album: “In the Light” (2016)
Label: Belhop Records
14) “London Sadness” – Risking Nostalgia
15) “Love Hurts Like Hell” – Gilmore Lucassen
I met lead singer for Risking Nostalgia, Jake Tempest and singer songwriter Gilmore Lucassen when we shared a bill for a gig hosted by Gigappy in London. Jake and Gimore’s passionate and well-crafted acoustic sets impressed me and it was a pleasant surprise to find that Jake’s band’s sound harked back to the grungy rock that I had indulged in during my teenage musical education.
EP: “Risking Nostalgia – EP” (2018)
EP: “Moonfisher” (2015)
Label: Gold Ship Records
16) “Grey Hour” – Sylvie
Sylvie’s music was introduced to me by mutual friends in Suffolk when I was looking for a support act for the album launch gig I put on in Ipswich in late 2019. I asked her to play support and the gig was a huge success.
While she hasn’t produced much to date, what she has produced is of amazing quality and bodes well for her future. “Grey Hour” is a contemporary gem, settling somewhere in the nuances of dusky electo-pop.
Single: “Grey Hour” (2019)