Monday, 28 May 2012

Music Mondays

Good afternoon everybody. It's Hannah again...
Wow this weather is pretty special right now in England. Turning frowns upside down, likewise I hope to bring you some super nice music as per usual.

First up, the wonderful Marques Toliver - White Sails

Former Brooklyn soul busker is used to gracing the streets of New York with his enormity of talent, however just a few years ago, Toliver was sleeping on sofas, determined to make something of a music career.

A turn of luck came his way when he was spotted busking by Kyp Malone from TV on the Radio. This led to Toliver's first session and now, sharing the stage with Lianne La Havas and championed by the likes of Adele, I see a bright future ahead. Infact, Adele has referred to him as her new favourite artist, declaring she's obsessed already and to tell you the truth, I couldn't agree more.

Toliver's roots are mainly classical with his trusty violin forming his main instrument, accompanied by his rich and soulful vocals. However, it's rather hard to label his sound, with elements of bluesy folk and hints of a gospel background. Since his appearance on Jools Holland in 2010, Marques has gained quite a following and will be making his rounds on the festival circuit this Summer.

The dreamy, melancholy sounds of  'White Sails' form the title track to Marques Toliver's demo, released in October 2010.

2. Emily & The Woods - Steal His Heart

Hailing from West London, Emily is the eldest daughter of an art therapist mother and musician father. Having grown up listening to an array of folk, jazz, blues and soul, her influences range from the likes of Tracy Chapman, Bill Withers and Fionn Regan.

At the young age of 20, Emily recorded her first demos along with Laura Marling, half way through her current studies at University. Since, Emily has supported the likes of Ben Howard, Ed Sheeran, Lucy Rose and The Staves and has gained quite the following and accreditation her music so rightly deserves.

Lending her mesmeric vocals to Bombay Bicycle Club tracks the haunting, yet delicate sounds of Emily & The Woods continue to gain airplay on BBC 6 Music and many other stations. Having played Glastonbury, Blissfields and many more, Emily will be soon gracing stages across the Summer festival season.  The latest EP is produced by Patrick Wood and featuring Ted Dwane of Mumford & Sons is available now on iTunes.

3. Rae Morris - Don't Go

Rae Morris is an exceptional young singer-songwriter from Blackpool. Having learnt piano from a young age, Rae stumbled across a voice, she never knew she had. Expressing maturity way beyond her years.

Having finished her A levels, the nineteen year old has since been writing and playing gigs, mainly around Preston and Manchester. With music so raw and fresh with a talent so strong, Rae Morris continues to grow from strength to strength. Having landed the support for Michael Kiwanuka at Bush Hall, London last year I expect this is a name you'll be hearing a lot more of. Remember, you heard it here first!!!

4. Willis Earl Beal - Evening's Kiss

Born and raised in Chicago, Beal joined the US Army in his early twenties however, was medically discharged due to intestinal problems. Following a five month hospital stay he returned to Chicago, to work at Sears Towers. In 2007, Beal moved to New Mexico and found himself homeless, working several low level jobs. It was during this time that Beal began to record music, leaving self-illustrated flyers and CD-R's around town.

This year, Beal signed a recording contract with independent record label, XL Recordings. Evening's Kiss was released on February 17 and is Beal's first single for the label. Full of soul and poetric dramas,  this rough recording, was recorded via. cassette and kareoke machine.

5. Alex Clare - Too Close (Unplugged)

Now while I am a sucker for all things folk, as I am sure you're aware... there's nothing I love more however, than winding down the windows, sun shining, music blaring, to a funky high temp beat.

Step aside Alex Clare. Sensational British singer songwriter. Born and raised in London, Clare grew up on a foundation of jazz and was drawn to the likes of Stevie Wonder and Donny Hathaway's blues and soul sounds. Having taken up both the trumpet and drums as a youngster, Clare began an interest in drum and bass and UK garage, before eventually lending his talents to guitar and songwriting. 

His debut album, The Lateness of the Hour, was released in July 2011, produced by Mike Spencer and Major Lazer. Having intially experienced a flop in his debut release, Clare was dropped from Universal  Island. However, his recent success comes fresh of the back of his song, 'Too Close' featuring in an Internet Explorer 9 commercial. 

This has spiralled Clare into new found fame and following the commercial airing, the song debuted at no.68 on the US Billboard Hot 100. On May 16, the song peaked at no. 4 in the UK Singles Chart.  Pioneered by the likes of Reggie Yates and Fearne Cotton, Clare continues to gain success and his album is definitely one to listen to this summer. 

His acoustic version of current single, 'Too Close' is my last pick for this post and can be viewed on the following link...

That's all for now. Have a great week. 


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