This here article/review type thing follows on from my blog post last year showcasing talented, up and coming indie artists.
I’d really hoped to do these reviews more regularly but as per, life takes over...
Writing, recording and producing my own EP has kept me very busy! By the way, this record is due for release very, very soon! So keep your eyes & lugs (ears) peeled folks.
Shameless plug. Anyhow, aye, getting back to indies. I guess the main difference between this entry and last year’s is I’ve actually had the pleasure of collaborating with some indies recently. I’ve had the benefit of witnessing their work ethic, raw talent and sheer ability firsthand both live and in the studio.
These days, collaboration is where it’s at. Why not pool our collective strengths and create something unique and significant? I’ve found working with different indie artists not only produces awesome material but also draws something out of me personally as an artist I never knew was there to begin with: this year it was songwriting for completely different genres and even finding my own performery, front-woman self at a gig!
Since last year’s post, there has been a mecha-tonne of cracking debut indie releases which have caught my ears but there are a few in particular just now I wish to highlight so you fine people can pleasure your ears all night long...
Bora Özkan – ‘Blue And Isolated’ (album/“playlist”)
Turkish guitarist and alt rock/indie instrumentalist, Bora Özkan, is a talent and one to watch in my opinion.
When I first listened to ‘Blue And Isolated’ last year, I was swept away on a wee magical journey of self-reflection and outright chill propelled by this beautiful yet eerie record where guitar melodies and effects take centre stage creating layer upon delicious layer for the listener.
Each track has an ethereal quality, its own purpose and significance but for me, ‘Prana’ embodies everything I love about this record. The transitions are smooth with interesting progressions and bring forth multiple emotions.
A year on and these tracks still give me much comfort when I am feeling a bit blue but are equally so versatile that they pick me up and zen me out on a nice wee sunny day.
I’ve rediscovered my love of instrumental music through Bora’s guitar compositions, won’t you do the same? Check him out here...
Ortense Blue – ‘Safe to make a sound’ (EP)
I first came across this artist’s music last year and have been hooked ever since on her folky musical goodness.
This is a songwriter of great depth and quality, which is probably the main thing I look for these days when listening to any new music. It just so happens this is a trait I find to be remarkably prevalent among indie singer/songwriters like Ortense.
Her debut EP, ‘Safe to make a sound’ is simply a wonderful record packed with haunting melodies, soothing, dreamy vocals and thought-provoking, emotive lyrics: all showcased in my personal favourite track of hers, ‘Hammer and Chisel’.
Ortense has had songs commended in the UK Songwriting Contest and had two songs played by BBC Introducing in both Leeds, and Shropshire. As well as being an indie musician, Ortense is a mental health and music advocate, highlighting the important link between being a musician and looking after yer heid. What better way to do just that than through the gift of song? Get your ears round Ortense’s music here...
The Stoned Immaculate – ‘Debauched music for You and your Friends’ (album)
‘Debauched music for You and your Friends’ is the debut album from Glasgow lads, the Stony Macs.
When I first heard this record, its energy smacked me round the chops! What then followed was an appreciation of the honest songwriting and individual, compositional ability of each band member.
This album was 100% written, recorded and produced by the band themselves, with bassist Dec Reid at the production helm.
Stand out tracks for me are ‘Stairs’, ‘Gaff’, ‘Poleshifter’ and ‘Carmel’ where guitar riffs from lead guitarist Callum and rhythm, Louis, are downright, effin punchy, high octane, while Dec’s basslines underneath still manage to punctuate and permeate these awesome melodies like a big, fat, meaty, meatball sub. Well, y’know what I mean. Wait, now I’m hungry...might have said meat too much there.
Moving on! Scott’s percussion/drums are crisp, tight af, perfectly framed and understated throughout this record, yet they really carry the energy from one raucous track to the next! Vocals from Louis are versatile and effortless, ranging from silky smooth stylings in the likes of ‘I Don’t Know What I Want’ and ‘Reprise’ to the hyped and energetic ‘Stairs’ and ‘Carmel’, with lyrics that resonate even with the auldest of indie gals (who may be partial to reliving the good ole days).
A great debut record with (I suspect) even greater potential for the future. Recommend a cheeky wee purchase of this album. Visit the Stony Macs here for details...
Tune in next time for The Auld Indie Reivew - Pt II !