Having recently reviewing the incredible new single, A Place Called Home, I thought it would be intriguing to try to discover those perfect ten albums that inspire and influence frontman, Johny Brown
TOP TEN ALBUMS
These are off the top of my head and written under the worst most crushing hangover I’ve had in years. I can’t believe someone has just put me up for that ice bucket thing… Christ, I’m going to avoid the world and my bed for a few days with me heavy dose Cornelius Cardew book that I will never finish… anyway, ten albums…
THAT SENTIMENTAL SLUSH
I love the lyrics on this album. Simon Rivers is an English wordsmith of the highest order. Bitter Springs are a proper band and the inspired songs on here have seen me through some dark days sure enough. Gathering Dust always gets me emotionally and Ice Cold Glass of Beer is my song of preference for sitting with an Ice Cold Glass of Beer. This is my favourite music at the end of the day, this is what I love and gravitate towards… post punk bands, straight up outsider outfits, with a love of Northern Soul, New York Beat, and French Cool, a bit of emotional investment, a curious nature, and a weird slant to the song composition. Springs, Sect, Sexual Objects, these are the people I always return to, my Dylan’s, my Bowie’s my Young’s, definitely, these chaps.
This is a later Neubauten album and quite smooth in comparison to the earlier recordings, but all the better for it, takes you to some very interesting places. The Garden is classic and Nnaaaaammm is a great track for running through Northern pine woods until you collapse in a heap of midgie bites…
What the fuck… A Sinatra concept album! Frank lives a comfortable life in a small nothing much happening town upstate and has a chick on the go, who is ‘a really good little cook in the kitchen’ only problem is she is after running off to New York City to find herself and probably become Lydia Lunch or Kathy Acker. She tells him this over good coffee and a slice of apple pie in the local diner. Frank is heartbroken and sings some of the best most obscure songs of his life as he tries to get his head around the fact she’s leaving, nay, gone, from Watertown. A stunning album.
I REMEMBER YESTERDAY
I love every track on this album, and also throw in Wasted from the same period, it is Disco as art form, and through taking a song from most periods of American 21st Century culture, classical, jazz, soul, rock and roll it transmutes into something timeless which is still fresh sounding today.
IGGY POP AND JAMES WILLIAMSON
Great nasty portrayal of mid seventies poisonous excess in Los Angeles, every song hurts.
NECTARINE NO 9
IT’S JUST THE WAY THINGS ARE JOE, IT’S JUST THE WAY THINGS ARE
Davie Henderson / Jock Scott / Walter Tevis – a winning combination
FOX BASE ALPHA
The best British pop album ever made. Nothing Can Stop Us Now still blows the mind
LIVE AT ELECTRIC CIRCUS BOOTLEG 76
I’ve had this recording on various cassettes over the years, it was taped onto a cassette recorder by a guy called Mark Taylor who made me a copy early on in my life. I grew up with this recording of pure inspired chaos style and spite. I much prefer it to the album. Great band this, especially Matlock’s bass and backing vocals. I play this over and over. It still totally sets the blood racing and sounds best on a bus travelling through the city.
I got into this through the greatly weird video of his version of She’s Lost Control but the album goes much deeper. A great new world voodoo shamanic techno album
WHAT’S THE MATTER BOY
A most underrated and hard to come by album. Make Me Sad is the template and inspiration for many a Band Of Holy Joy song, and Vic is certainly the forerunner of Edwyn / Springs / Henderson and countless others. The man himself has the best taste in modern American R and B and obscure French literature. Great radio guest.
To find out more about Band Of Holy Joy, their music and forthcoming live dates checkout their website http://www.bandofholyjoy.co.uk/
Hollie April is a twenty-two year singer-songwriter who originally hails from Gibraltar, she first start writing songs at a young age and since those formative years has become an undergraduate at Leeds college of music where she represented the conservatoire at showcases for the likes of Sony, Island Records and Steinway. From there Hollie tasted the festival circuit, opening the mainstage of the Gibralter Music Festival as well as appearing at the Gibralter Jazz Festival.
Hollie released her debut EP, Marionette to great praise, with the track The Sun And The Sea being noted for particular praise from the likes of Soundcloud among others.
Together Alone is the follow-up single which see Hollie gain more support and plaudits, the track is a stunning near six-minute alternative folk epic that opens with Hollie’s mesmeric vocals and acoustic guitar, before developing with added dramatic drums, soaring melodies and Hollie showcasing that jaw dropping vocal range to the full. Hollie’s vocal ability is simply incredible, her voice oozes and simmers with emotion before lifting to a powerful crescendo, whilst the musical accompaniment augments the vocals to dazzling effect.
If the passion and delivery of Together Alone is anything to judge on Hollie April is destined for big things in the alternative folk field and beyond, personally I can’t wait to hear more from this young singer-songwriter.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 10
In essence Teenage Wildlife is the work of Shoreditch based John Wright, a renowned film maker and photographer who has worked on films for numerous fashion labels such as Dior and Louis Vuitton as well Vanity Fair and more recently GQ magazine among others.
John has been writing and recording music for numerous years with his material being used as part of the various aforementioned campaigns among others. John was encouraged to create the Teenage Wildlife persona as a means to release his musical output after working with numerous names in the music industry otffered him support. Most Beautiful Thing/The Last Great Love Affair is the first release under the Teenage Wildlife monicker and serves as an interesting starting point.
Both tracks sees multi-instrumentalist John create an intriguing combination of electro soul using synths, keyboards, loops and beats, Most Beautiful Thing also features an unknown yet recognisible female singer delivering a glorious soulful vocal that John loops over a glitchy dub inspired mix to create a lovely slice of modern R&B. The Last Great Love Affair is a little more jumbled, with beats obscuring the delicate vocals a little and yet it’s still an intriguing number (though I’d prefer it stripped back a little).
As starting points go this two-track single is a welcoming opening gambit from an obviously talented artist, it’ll be interesting to hear where John Wright takes the Teenage Wildlife project next.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 7
Band Of Holy Joy are London based practitioners of the gutter lament, evocative chanson like ballads that bring to mind the likes of Divine Comedy or the criminally underrated Costeau, a band (that like the aforementioned) that create slow burning odes to the human condition that weave an undeniable mesmeric spell with their compelling mix instrumentation and Johny Brown’s brooding croon.
In recent times the author Irvine Welsh proclaimed Band Of Holy Joy’s album Easy Listening to be his “favourite album of the year so far” whilst the likes of Mojo, The Mirror and The Wire all agreed, with favourable reviews of the album.
Band Of Holy Joy’s follow up the acclaimed album with a brand new single, entitled A Place To Call Home, a track that explores living in the inner city and a song that also goes some way to showcase the timeless sound of the
The track is a moody provocative piece that casts a magical spell, the slow, precise structure draws the listener in, before Johny delivers that sensational darkened soulful croon, lyrically the track is captivating, original and inventive, whilst musically the instrumentation draws you in.
There are very few acts that have the same draw as Band Of Holy Joy, few can create such an atmospheric sound whilst even less have a frontman with same aching voice of Johny Brown, if you’ve not heard the band yet, I urge you track down, at the very least this single and prepare yourself to be seduced by the brooding sounds of the human condition.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 9
Blind River Scare are a South Wales based four-piece that play a combination of original Americana and alternative country. The band have been playing live around the area whilst honing their sound.
Point Of No Return is a six track self-released EP that showcases their brand of back-porch roots, combining acoustic guitars with Pedal and Lap steel to create a warm and inviting sound, whilst frontman, Tim Manning delivers a fine country-tinged drawl that instantly grabs the attention, whilst his lyrics draw the listener further into their evocative mix.
The EP opens with the title track and instantly showcases the band’s alternative country credentials with an instantly infectious rolling rhythm and that aforementioned delightful combination of lap steel and acoustic guitar. The track moves along at a fair old pace and hints at the dusty Texan border with it’s almost Calexico like use of drum and bass, whilst the story compels and encourages the listener onwards.
Whether you enjoy the follow up track, Could I Be A Different Man would be down to personal taste, I’m not a big traditional country fan so to be honest despite a decent vocal and some nice harmonies, the track leaves me a little cold, as it’s all a little to slow and safe for my liking. Third track Gideon appeals a great deal more, with it’s (for the most part) solo acoustic guitar and weathered vocals, whilst the lyrics again capture the imagination and when the twanging pedal steel joins it peppers the track as opposed to dragging it down that tried and tested traditional route.
No Remorse, Guilt Or Shame sees the band at their most musically muscular with loads of tasty finger plucking complimenting the strummed acoustic wonderfully, whilst Damage Is Done begins as a stripped down affair complete with a wonderful warm and weary vocal, a harmony enriched chorus and a welcome change of pace during a short yet infectious middle section.
Overall Point Of No Return is an interesting and often contagious showcase of Blind River Scare, Tim’s vocals and lyrics are for the most part slow burning, rich and welcoming whilst the band create a tasteful country backing, if you want something raw and ragged look elsewhere but if you want to hear well played inviting roots you’ll find a great deal to admire about Blind River Scare.
Rhythm & Booze Rating 7
- Johny Brown Of Band Of Holy Joy Reveals His Perfect Ten
- Hollie April-Together Alone
- Teenage Wildlife-Most Beautiful Thing/The Last Great Love Affair
- Band Of Holy Joy-A Place Called Home
- Blind River Scare-Point Of No Return
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