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Sometimes beautiful people just shine into our lives and leave us a trail of soundbite magic eh??


 I have to admit that I'd stumbled off the beaten track of unsigned music for a wee while. It hadn't been deliberate and I had missed it A LOT so when my amazing illustrator friend Saroj Patel invited me to see her friends band play a gig in East London (another place I'd fallen off the radar of for a while) I jumped at the chance and wasn't disappointed.
Years & Years are a London based 5 piece made up of Emre, Noel, Michael, Olly and Olivier. They describe their music as folktronic and progressive indie which I think personally hits the nail on its head. They are experimental and grow with every gig (I hear) and choose guitars, pedals loopers, the ebow, uke , glock, laptops, moog, bass, noise and drums to "create a sonic backdrop for achingly tender vocals to dance over." -
Currently unsigned but not for long in my guessing, listen to the snapshot below for just a taster of their work.

The Ruckus

If you love alternative, folkie, indie, rockie,  country music you better get following these guys!
A truly fab blog supporting the unsigned folk on the music circuits of London, Denver, Detroit, LA etc but basically follow all the cool kids where ever they may be and support them like mad and tell us all about them. 

They write great interviews, gig reviews and very fun tweets. The UK team are super nice and are friends with quite a few of the bands mentioned on this page so if you like them you should be clicking on this teams page pronto!!/theruckusblog

 On Monday, my gorgeous friend, maker of crafts and vegan food  as well as being a blimen good banjo player Siobhan, took me to see Abigail Washburn at The Slaughtered Lamb Pub in Farringdon, London... and oh my word, she and her band were good!! Abigail had brought along 2 fiddlers Rayna Gallert and Casey Driessen, A double Bass dude who I cant remember the name of unless it was Ben Sollee (- Massive apologies if that's wrong I have tried to research you!) - I was drinking cider, it leads to terrible memory loss! Jamie Dick on drums -he was ace and also very amusing, and last but in no means least Kai Welch on Trumpet, organ, guitar and vocals.
Abigail is, for me, the folk/country circuits version of Alison Margaret, lead singer of Goldfrapp, both vocally and visually - her dress sense is lurverly! - this press pic does not do the puffball dress, coloured tights and pixie boots she wore justice!
Born in Illinois and now labelled as a Nashville artist although she has connections to Oregan seems to be influenced by so many different genres of music its hard to cram in enough representational songs into the sets; country, folkey, blusey, chinese...sey?! 1930's one minute to 1950's the next to present day. She's studied law in Beijing, taught English to Chinese in America and often sings to her audience in it too! -She even helped us sing Happy Birthday in Chinese to Will Rees, the music night producer -Twas a lovely moment! Fluent in the ways of the banjo, Abigail has a stunning voice, infectious enthusiasm and is banging banjo player. Her new album has a whole host of great collaborations, including The Decemberists' Chris Funk and Ketch Secor and Morgan Jahnig from Old Crow Medicine Show. Her major collaborator is Kai WElch who I formally mentioned and they performed some amazing co-writte songs and duets, plus he can pull off a cracking denim suit- nice. If you like American folk, bluegrass, traditional Chinese folk rhymes and alternative modern day country PLEASE Jump on spotify and look up her new album City of Refuge

Blue Rose Code

Ahh well, what can I say about this rare shell of a band. Their delicate tones, thoughtful lyrics and soft vibes can send you to the deepest corners of your mind, bringing to the surface all those memories stored away and dreaming of those left to come. Ross Wilson, lead singer and songwriter of the band has his roots softly spread over the city of Edinburgh, Isle of Lewis and our very own London town. All of these places reflected in his words and music. Please check them out. You don't know what you're missing!

Samantha Whates

I first saw Samantha when she was performing at London's Union Chapel in Islington in 2008 with BlueRose Code. After watching their set I immediately booked my tickets for their single launch and there I sat, at thr front, dripping Guinness in hand, laughing and chatting with Samantha.
As a solo artists she is as delightful to listen to as she is to talk too. Born in Bridgnorth, Shropshire then spending part of her childhood in the Middle East and then moving to Scotland where she gained her soft Celtic voice, she is now based in London vocationally although her love for the peaceful seaside has sent her off to Hastings recently!
She performs live at many of the capital's top venues, including The Electroacoustic Club, Cargo and the Strongroom Bar. Recently, her demo recordings for NSR have been receiving radio airplay, most notably on 'New Ground' for KCRW radio, Southern California's premier independent station and BBC 6. 
Though based in London's East End, Samantha's music has more in common with contemporary Scandinavian music (Rune Grammofon et al.) where a lot of importance is placed upon the subtleties of tone, timbre and atmospherics. Of equal influence is instrumental and so-called 'absolute' music which constantly informs her melodic approach. Her songs are typically reflective, always honest -- everyday issues dealt with pensive melancholy, nostalgic yearning and a mature insight that belies her years.

Damien Fynn

Ahh what a feast for the ears! Damien has a voice and song writing ability that stops what ever you're doing and sit and gaze and listen. With his Irish roots and charm and wonderful lyrics Mr Flynn can take you to the sleepiest, whimsical, romantic edges of your mind.

Currently featured on the playlist for the BT Digital Music Awards website at, Damien's new lease of musical life and the growing quality of both his live performances and self-produced home recordings are earning much acclaim." -

See of Bees

I first heard See of Bees on a Spotify playlist and it completely stopped me in my tracks, Her voice and harmonies with her on stage backing vocalist are stunning, so when I heard she was playing at one of my haunts The Gallery Cafe I had to go along for a listen. She is cute! Singing with a cold her banter was very entertaining and her sniffles didn't interfere with her vocals one bit!

If you want to hear more, go to the search menu on the homepage to see my review of the gig.

The Avett Brothers

When I first heard The Avett Brothers today I believed I needed to spread the love far and wide. I totally recommend their Big Label Debut release 'I and Love and You' January Wedding and Murder in the City' as your first listens but they are their more soft, easy-on-the-ear tracks. They are actually a wee bit rawkus and are well known for their upbeat stage performances.

They've been describled as "rootsy amalgam of folk, country, bluegrass, rock and pop – with even a jab of punk-style dynamics here and there"
The legendary producer Rick Rubin (who has worked with acts such as Johnny Cash, Tom Petty and The Dixie Chicks), signed the Avett Brothers – consisting of siblings Scott and Seth, plus bassist Bob Crawford - to his American Recordings label in 2008. The Brothers ihave been influenced by all sorts of artist, from Red Hot Chili Peppers to Johnny Cash. Before Rubin they'd already released 5 albums and two EPs. They debuted in 2001 with a self-titled six-song EP and then issued a full-fledged album, Country Was, a year later.

Jack in the Water

Will Clapson Jack in the WAter's frontman owns vocals that I actually can'y draw a likeness too. Totally encapsulating. Soft yet gigantic in awe. Every line is thoughtfully considered and controlled. You know that when these guys write and play they're doing it for themselves and from their soul.

Their use of silence grabs as much command as their dramatic builds and blowouts. Go see!
Jack In Water give new meaning to many of the hackneyed adjectives used in music reviews. They are as soft as a chilling caress and they are epic like an ancient battle, full of blood and dismembered limbs. They do not play music for the faint hearted but their attentiveness is able to usher in and embolden the uninitiated rather than scare them away. Jack In Water are destined for great things.

I've been hanging out with the lads from Ahab of recent and they are a lot of fun! As is their music. Ahab were formed after they were invited to play the annual 'Fanfare' Festival in Nashville Tennesee in 2009. After being a storming success they carried on and hit the London streets, until the police asked them to move on... because of the crowds of listeners.... not because of their antics.. well maybe but the crowds were the bigger issue!
Influenced by their Celtic roots but their Nashville ones even more so. Their thigh thwacking upbeat tunes with cracking harmonies (just as good live as recorded, if not better!). Will make you wanna smile, if not break in to a wee shin dig - go on listen to their new release 'RoseBud' on i-tunes or spotify and just see if you can't stop your feet from tapping! - Go on
- I dares ya! :)
Check out all about them at the links below...