Tom Lumley set to release new single “Skyhigh” on March 15th

Wednesday 14th March 2018

Penned as one of my artists to watch back in the Autumn of 2017, Cambridge born singer/songwriter Tom Lumley has wasted no time in putting the finishing touches together on his next release.  Last year put a solid stake in Tom’s music career, after being awarded the Best Male Solo Artist at the NMG awards, and also being picked up by the likes of BBC Introducing. Fresh off the back of the success of his previous single “Just Like The Light”, which really gave Tom and his band another well-earnt peg up, and riding high after a year of performing a string of live dates, tomorrow sees the release of his next single “Skyhigh”.

Speaking with Tom last year about his plans for an upcoming EP or album release, he explained that “At the moment I’m going to stick with singles. I have a locker full of songs but I don’t want to rush it and just chuck them out there. I’m going to try and keep building the fan base whilst releasing singles until I think it’s the right time for an album”.  

Being fortunate enough to grab an advance copy of the latest single, it was pleasing to hear that “Skyhigh” continues to live up to expectations. Uplifting with it’s indie-pop vibes, and catchy with its lyrics that talk of a one-sided relationship, the track is very catchy and vocally pleasing.  Tom has a great voice with a harmonious tone, which often becomes more strident.

Alongside the release, tomorrow is also the final day of the current tour, which will also be a launch show for the single taking place in Tom’s hometown of Cambridge at the Portland Arms. If you fancy heading out and supporting new music, then grab yourself one of the remaining few tickets here.

Connect with Tom Lumley via his Facebook and Twitter.

MusicPlanetLive announces £1M grants and incentives for artists and promoters

Wednesday 14th February

Live music hub MusicPlanetLive has announced £1 Million of incentives and grants to support emerging UK artists and promoters.  Over the next six months MusicPlanetLive will be funding artists, projects and events up to £5k each across the UK. In addition to the grants, the site is designed so artists, venues and promoters of all levels can use its service to generate income through various means.

MusicPlanetLive has already sponsored a wide range of shows and provided funding for many emerging artists including Chapter and Verse, Lotus Eater and Big Beat Manifesto. This announcement affirms MusicPlanetLive‘s commitment to supporting live music and the next generation of talent.

Last week saw the official launch of NuuRadio, the site’s in-built user-generated interactive radio station which features artist takeover shows, industry news and more. Featured artist shows have so far included Opeth, Employed to Serve, Northlane and Wednesday 13 as well as Grammy award winning Sting producer Kipper Eldridge.

“We are funding proactive emerging acts of all genres who have the drive, determination and passion to promote their music and not expect everything on a plate. We want to see more people at more shows and keep live music thriving from grassroots venues to the biggest arenas. We’re also providing finance for hard working promoters to help them put on the shows they want. We want these shows to happen, we want the venues paid, the artists paid and as such we want to help cover costs, so promoters can afford to put on a show risk free. We’re finding huge support from many artists who believe in what we are doing, we all share the same passion, and the more people using the sites features, the better it works for all.

“We want to create a live music platform that works for all artists and everyone in the industry, this is our mission and commitment. This is NOT just another new social platform – it’s a complete working tool for the entire live music industry, and we’re just getting started. Designed with the music world in mind, this will be the best way for artists to grow fan base, reach audience for free and the opportunity to make income on a regular basis.”

Connect with MusicPlanetLive via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

SEASONS announce new EP ‘Chapters’ and Fender Squire guitar giveaway

Saturday 10th February 2018

Bedfordshire based rockers SEASONS have just announced that their next EP, entitled ‘Chapters’ will be released on 20th April.  As part of the build-up to the release, the band are giving away a brand new Fender Squire guitar to one lucky person.  To be in with a chance of getting your hands on the prize, you just need to pre-order the new EP on the band’s own store. Click here to pre-order and the guitar could be yours!  The winner will be announced at a special EP release show in April, with more details to follow.

Speaking about their upcoming EP, guitarist Steve Watts comments that:

“Our third EP ‘Chapters’ is definitely the most emotionally involved collection of music that we have written as a band. The name comes from the idea that the songs are based around a subject that each of us have had connections with or experienced in our own lives, each one a chapter of our lives, if you like. We want people to feel the emotion in each song and to really connect and relate to that. In SEASONS we all have the same view that music and lyrics in particular can have such a strong influence on a life whether it’s giving them strength to battle through a tough time, or showing them they aren’t alone in their emotions. We hope that behind the big riffs and catchy choruses, people hear the messages in the songs and enjoy them on that level too!”

Connect with SEASONS via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

As Sirens Fall release new single ‘In My Mind’ featuring Skindred’s Benji Webbe

Saturday 2nd December 2017

Following on from the release of their debut EP “The Hospital Party” last year, As Sirens Fall have recently released their next single “In My Mind” featuring Skindred’s lead vocalist Benji Webbe.  Thinking back to when I first listened to their EP, I remember how diverse the tracks came across and was bowled over by how right these guys were already getting it, even in the early days of finding their feet.  Talking about the challenges of putting the EP together, the band commented that “The biggest challenge was making the songs on the EP work together. Each song sounds very different to the last, and that’s always the band that we’ve been. We’ve never liked the idea of sticking to any single genre or getting pigeonholed, and we wanted this EP to scream that.”  Almost a year and a half since that release the band have gone from strength to strength, and are now presenting us with yet another storming single. 

Take The Power Back.  It is the battle cry of Keighley natives As Sirens Fall on their anthemic new single “In My Mind,” telling a story that resonates on many levels. From the beginnings of the uprising against the establishment as shown in “In My Mind’s” creative music video, to the lyric inspiration of being a positive message against mental illness, depression and the struggles of everyday life, In My Mind” is a song the band hope will help people when they need it most.

Talking about the single, frontman Mikey Lord says that “This is actually an older song of ours. When we got together to begin writing together after THE HOSPITAL PARTY, we dug this old thing back up and brought it back to life. I’m so glad we did.  The video is absolute insanity. I cannot believe we pulled something like this off.  We shot enough footage to make a short film.  Fitting this into a 4 minute music video was an absolute nightmare.  I can’t wait to see what people think of what we’ve been up to. It was awesome working with Benji. He’s super friendly and professional and when he added his vocal parts in, he helped us bring this song to life. His presence in the video is amazing. The guy is a rock n roll machine.  We wanted to represent how hard it is for people to talk about mental health, and not only that it is hard – but that people are often pushed into not acknowledging it at all.  It’s been a hard year for the people in this band, but it feels really good to come back with something that we’re all so proud of and excited about. We left the black and whites of THE HOSPITAL PARTY behind. We decided to introduce way more colour into the whole image of the band. It felt like a step forward.”

Connect with As Sirens Fall via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Salute Music Makers competition for new and original music makers

Wednesday 9th August 2017

Having launched back in April amid a storm of media interest, the new innovative music talent platform, Salute Music Makers, has just a few days left before entries for this year close with the date being set at Midnight on August 13th. From this point no further sign ups will be taken and the competition will move onto the all-important, ‘listening phase’, whereby curators and music industry experts will evaluate, then judge all Music Makers with the aim of narrowing down the talent pool to a top 100 most promising songwriters.

Since the initial April 27th  sign up date, the Salute team, spearheaded by legendary Undertones front-man, Feargal Sharkey, have been inundated with great UK talent covering all genres and are now preparing for the next stage which will see their dedicated and experienced team of curators pick out music makers with the most potential, culminating in an unprecedented no-strings-attached £50,000 prize.

Since opening, Salute Music Makers has seen a wide range of genres represented, as was always their intention, with hip-hop accounting for 20% of the total entries, pop 16%, singer-songwriter 14%, rock 13% and indie 10%.

In addition, in terms of age demographics, the younger generations have seen the most pick up, with a huge 83% of contestants coming from the 16-34 category, thus showing that there is a youth-led hunger for song writing and fountain of talent available in the UK today. However, there has been a noticeable disparity between genders applying for the Salute Music Makers Competition. With just 19% of entries being female, Salute are keen to find out why this is.

Renowned female producer and songwriter, Dee Adam, who has been recruited as a member of Salute’s curator panel, was keen to comment on the findings: “I am surprised and a little sad that so few girls have entered the competition, especially knowing how many talented female songwriters there are in the UK. Girls need to be heard and in an industry that is heavily dominated by males, it is telling that women still feel subservient and attitudes are still in the dark ages. There any still SO many challenges and barriers for women in the industry to break through or feel comfortable participating in a competition of this kind. It’s time for us to makes a difference!

Feargal Sharkey also commented that: “From the beginning of the Salute Music Makers’ journey, diversity and opportunity has always been at the heart of our vision – whether that be in style of music, age or gender – we aim to be inclusive of all. We know that there is just as much female talent out there as male and we want to provide a platform for showcasing this talent, so don’t be shy if you think you have a killer track – £50,000 is at stake!

About Salute:

Entrants to the Salute Music Makers competition stand the chance of winning £50,000 in cash, while the other five shortlisted finalists will each receive a £10,000 cash prize, no strings attached. The Salute competition reflects the dramatic changes in the way new music is written, recorded and shared. Recent advancements in music technology enable music makers to create music almost anytime, anywhere and the quality of organic, original music emerging from home studios has never been higher and is constantly evolving. Now is the perfect time to provide a platform for this talent by launching a competition that salutes the DIY generation of music makers.

Connect with Salute Music Makers via their Website, Facebook and Twitter.

Steve Martin returns with ‘The Long-Awaited Album’

Friday 28th July 2017

Steve Martin and The Steep Canyon Rangers will release “The Long-Awaited Album” on Rounder Records/Decca Records on 22nd September. “The Long-Awaited Album,” Martin’s newest collaboration with the Grammy-winning North Carolina-based  band the Steep Canyon Rangers, is full of stories that mix humour and melancholy, whimsy and realism, rich characters and concrete details. And lots of banjos.

That instrument – so dexterously, even acrobatically picked and strummed – is just as crucial to relating these new tales as the lyrics themselves, each chord and riff revealing new depths to Martin’s narrators and to his musical talent. Produced by Peter Asher, the new album is a collection of 14 stunning new songs including the boisterous and humorous new track “Caroline,” the deeply romantic tune “All Night Long,” and the fantastical song “Santa Fe,” which showcases the lively dynamic between Martin and the Rangers.

Steve Martin’s musical career is an extension of the storytelling impulse that drove his work as a comedian, an actor, a screenwriter, a playwright, an essayist, and a novelist. The Grammy Award winning musician found his love for the banjo at the age of 17 and originally used the instrument as part of his stand-up comedy routine. But in 2010, Martin released his first album, The Crow: New Songs for the 5-Strong Banjo, and since then, Martin has played many prestigious stages including Carnegie Hall, The Hollywood Bowl, Stagecoach, Bonnaroo, New Orleans’ Jazzfest and The Newport Folk Festival, Royal Festival Hall in London, and the Capitol Building in Washington D.C. Martin released his second full-length bluegrass album Rare Bird Alert in 2011. The album featured 13 Martin-penned tracks as well as special guest vocal appearances by Paul McCartney and The Dixie Chicks. Additionally, Martin co-wrote two of the CD’s songs with the Steep Canyon Rangers. That year, Martin also won the International Bluegrass Music Association’s Entertainer of the Year Award.

Martin also collaborated with Edie Brickell on the critically acclaimed album Love Has Come For You, which combines Martin’s five-string banjo work with Brickell’s vivid vocals. Martin and Brickell took home the Grammy Award for “Best American Roots Song” for the album’s title track. Martin and Brickell’s second collaboration “So Familiar” earned widespread critical acclaim and also inspired the Broadway musical Bright Star, which was nominated for five Tony Awards.

The Steep Canyon Rangers and Steve Martin will host their album release celebration on Saturday at The IBMA World of Bluegrass –  in the state where it all began for them.

Connect with Steve Martin via his WebsiteFacebook and Twitter.

VISTA releases sophomore EP ‘Long Live’

Thursday 27th July 2017

Comprised of fierce front woman Hope Vista and guitarist Greg Almeida, VISTA is keeping their momentum alive with their brand new dystopian-themed sophomore EP “Long Live” which was released on the 21st July. Combining both arena and electronic influences to define their anthem rock sound, “Long Live” lyrically focuses mainly on forming an allegiance and finding an ‘oasis’ in a dystopian society. The EP’s concept was designed to mirror current political world events.

The 7 song tracklist includes previously released singles “Henchmen” and “Allegiance” as well as a new version of vocalist Hope Vista’s 2015 solo single “Dominance.” With this record cycle, VISTA also introduces the creation of The Oasis, a metaphorical safe haven for listeners to find comfort in through the band’s music and live shows. Talking about the EP, the band states:

“Growing into our sophomore release, we wanted to expand on our simpler beginnings and create a brand, instead of just being a band. The concept for ‘Long Live’ really stemmed from “Henchmen,” which focused on the idea of fighting against the face of oppression in a politically polarizing society. The words “long live” fight against the image of an apocalypse and also mirror where VISTA currently stands. ‘Long Live’ is the product of a lot of frustration and the examination of current events with one goal; to create a sound and concept that has both flare and remarkable depth. The result is something we are immensely proud of and put forward into the world with hopes that we can all fight against the grain in an increasing dystopian society.”

Conceived in late 2015, VISTA released their debut 4-track EP “VERSUS” shortly after, in which their debut single “On The Brink” debuted worldwide on idobi radio. Their name hasn’t been shy in the press since; the band has garnered praise from outlets such as Alternative Press, Rock Sound, Substream, and AXS. Since the start of 2017, VISTA has supported Fueled By Ramen artist Against The Current at Irving Plaza, sold out their first two headlining shows, was named one of “100 Women Kicking Ass In Music” by Alternative Press, and gained rotation on idobi with their January single “Henchmen,” an anti-oppression anthem. “Long Live” serves as VISTA’s sophomore EP, and the band will embark on their first headlining tour in August to promote.

Click here for tour dates and tickets.

Connect with VISTA via their Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.