Jamie T - Carry on the Grudge - 29/09/14
Jamie T is back! After seemingly disappeared, the back end of September will see the release of Carry on the Grudge, Jamie T’s first full album release since 2009’s Kings & Queens. Clues as to what is to come have already been graciously bestowed on us in the form of the singles Zombie and Don’t You Find, which individually show 2 very different sides to Jamie T. Zombie is the man we’re used to, upbeat and raw, brilliantly executed and superbly catchy, the Jamie T we all know and love. Don’t You Find however is something new. This seems to be the more considered, maybe the darker side of Jamie T. It is mostly definitely different to the much loved tracks of old, but this in my opinion isn’t bad. By releasing Don’t You Find Jamie T is showing his versatility, and that makes me very excited to get hold of the full album and see what he is really capable of!
After selling out the comeback gigs earlier this summer, Jamie T will be playing McKluskeys in Kingston on Thames on the 2nd October (now sold out), as well as 2 dates at Alexandra Palace on the 14th and 15th of November, tickets still available for both dates at £25. I’ve got big expectations for this release, let’s hope Jamie T can deliver!
Gnarwolves - Gnarwolves - 15/09/14
Gnarwolves. What can I say about Gnarwolves? I first became aware of this band at 2000 Trees in July, where they played the opening night at The Cave stage, and were phenomenal! Their shows are insane! Gnarwolves play fast, hard, and relentlessly. If you ever have the chance to go to a show and you’re into this kind of music, go! Just do it!
Onto the album. It is everything I expected it to be, loud, brash and energetic. For those unfamiliar with Gnarwolves, they incorporate elements of punk, as well as their own breed of hardcore style breakdowns, to produce something that sounds bare knuckled and writhing. The debut album is a testament to their abilities to perform, as the intensity of their live shows has been captured well in the studio, with little lull in tempo and hype throughout.
Essentially, if you’re looking for a fast paced, simple, barebones album that really delivers, check this out! Also, Gnarwolves with be playing 2 gigs in December in London, one at Kingston College on the 4th, and another at Underworld on the 5th. See them live, I cannot recommend them enough!
Ruby Day - The London Years - 01/09/14
18 years old from London, Ruby Day has finally released an EP for purchase after finding significant support from the YouTube community over the past few years. The EP titled The London Years is a 7 track EP of raw, simplistic, and hopeful music, which frankly is fantastic. Ruby’s songwriting is conveys a clearly intelligent young mind, passionately writing about topics that are relevant to everyone, with simple lines like ‘England will always be my home, with it’s crappy weather and pointless thrones’ bringing a subtle grin to your face.
The EP flows well, with a great mix of ups and downs, from a fast paced start as Lets F*cking Sing, to the reduced tempo of Ghosts of London Town. Ultimately, The London Years is an outstanding debut for Ruby Day, and something that I personally haven’t been able to stop playing since I bought it!
Billy the Kid - Horseshoes and Hand Grenades - 08/09/14
The 4th solo album to be released from Billy the Kid, Horseshoes and Hand Grenades gives a lot. Billy’s songwriting various well, therefore giving the album a well rounded feel, with full band songs as well as those lonely acoustic takes that Billy does so well. Produced by Frank Turner and released on XtraMile Recordings, Horseshoes and Handgrenades is a charming, emotion filled album that captures Billy’s sweet, enticing, country tinged voice perfectly, making it a lovely listening experience.
Speaking of Frank Turner, he also features vocally in the song This Sure as Hell Ain’t My Life, as well as playing bass and acoustic on many a track. As a producer Turner has said he was looking for the record to be one with ‘some dirt under its fingernails’, which I think has definitely been achieved.
Unfortunately there seems to be no UK shows currently planned for Billy, but if in the future there are I would definitely recommend going. Personally I saw Billy the Kid play in Dresden in the summer as support for Chuck Ragan and Dave Hause, where she played solo acoustic and was beautifully powerful and charismatic. Horseshoes and Handgrenades holds so well musically and lyrically, as well as delivering an extended variety of songs, its not an album you should pass by.
Hozier - Hozier - 07/10/14
So I’m cheating a bit here. Technically, Hozier’s debut album is not set to be released in the UK until 7th October. However, it has already been released in Ireland as of the 19th September, so I’m going to talk about it anyway. This debut is highly anticipated, after the release of the excellent single Take me to Church in March, along with the From Eden EP, which both display Hozier’s unique sound beautifully. The combinations of Hozier’s fantastically emotional voice with tuneful guitar leads, blended on occasion with filling piano or bass make for a lovely concoction of sound. I find it difficult to pin down what Hozier sounds like, sometimes I hear a snippet of Keaton Henson there, others times elements of Ben Howard, mixed with the occasional glimpse of Jack White. Essentially, Hozier has found a sound of his own and is mastering it entirely!
After playing a sold out show at KOKO, Camden on the 17th September, Hozier is to embark on a US tour this autumn, to return to London in January at the 02 Shepherds Bush Empire. All signs observed, the debut album from Hozier is set to be and exceptional start to a successful career.