Under the Radar: Ryan Webb

Hold tight rock fans, you’re in for a treat. London-based rocker, Ryan Webb, is releasing his latest album on 9th June and it’s a scorcher.

Stop the World comprises nine tracks of unadulterated, guitar-fuelled energy. Ryan’s toneful vocals play out against a backdrop of well-crafted riffs, subtle reverb and thumping drum work. The album balances well and delivers a guitar led, pure rock sound that avoids the temptation of straying into cliché territory. Our promo copy hasn’t stopped spinning since it arrived.

3

Let’s get it out there straight away – Ryan can play. But for me, his rich voice and effortless ability to control each ranging note is what makes his music, and Stop the World in particular, stand out. This album doesn’t pretend to be something it’s not – it’s a thoroughbred example of British rock music that’s been tied together to a very high standard thanks to the mastering wizardry of Pete Maher, who will be well known to those in the industry.

Stop the World finds its feet immediately with Insomnia, a dark lament to sleepless nights that piles in with hard guitar and deep drumming. It’s a blazing track, built around tormenting riffs and vocals that create a perfect nightmare of a song. Impressive. Runaway steps things back a notch, delivering a well-crafted ballad that tells the tale of a relationship stuttering under the pressures of reality. It feels genuine and refreshingly understated, proving to be a fine showcase for Ryan’s inimitable vocals.

The title track, Stop the World, throws up a little something different and stands out amongst the other eight tracks on the album. Sneering vocals and a change of pace could deceive you into thinking this was a long-lost Oasis demo. Lively and edgy, it will appeal to indie kids and seasoned rock fans alike.

1

As the album settles into its mid-section, the themes that presumably inspired the title push to the fore. It also slides back into a more traditional rock approach. The gutsy My Religion draws on contentious social issues with a combination of sharp lyrics subtle rock guitar. Lucky Ones thrills with a modern twist on old-school metal, with thumping beats and frantic fretwork creating a hugely moshable track, and In a Day or Two delivers an accessible track with an anthemic chorus that we can all relate to.

Before I Die is a thought provoking, melodic ballad that takes a break from the fierce guitar playing that’s prevalent across the album. It’s reflective, pensive and emotional. But it’s back to rock with the catchy Guilty. The final track on the album is the ghostly Immortal, which sees Ryan deliver a dreamy, echoing vocal that contemplates the everlasting and provides one last chance to show off his machine gun riffs and musical creativity.

Stop the World is a must listen for rock fans and a launch gig is in the pipeline, so keep an eye out and get yourself along to show your support. If you can’t make it in person, follow him on social media and be sure to download the album on 9th June. In the meantime, check out the links below:

http://www.ryanwebb.org

http://www.facebook.com/RyanWebbUK

One to Watch: Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees

Hailing from Birmingham, Alabama, and now native to Nashville, Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees are a talented four piece writing, recording and performing their unique and exciting brand of Southern Americana Groove Rock. Not sure what Southern Americana Groove Rock is? Best check out their storming debut album, Procrastinated Memoirs. It’s good. Real good. These guys have talent in all departments and we reckon Spectra have snapped up a band that has genuine potential to make a lasting impression.

image1 (1)

Headed by a frontman with a personality bigger than his beard, Jacob Needham is talented. His authoritative voice is distinctive and oozes confidence. The Blue Trees are equally gifted, playing with flair, distinction and a degree of unity that belies the fact they’ve only been together for three years. James Tyler Cody is a phenomenal guitarist with fingers faster than Usain Bolt. Ben Trexel’s an experienced bassist who’s not afraid to get down and dirty, and RaShaun Whetstone keeps everything on-point with drum beats that keep better time than a Rolex.

image9

Procrastinated Memoirs comprises twelve tracks of pure American Rock heaven. Released by the Spectra Music Group earlier this month, it’s diverse and pushes boundaries but maintains a strong sense of cohesion throughout. The album kicks off in style and with a slight twist – the ethereal intro to Traffic puts you at ease and leaves you expecting a ballad. You start to relax…BLAM…the big guns come out. Bass. Drums. Guitar. Snarling vocals. It’s energetic, exhilarating and everything a rock song should be.

Following on is Therapist, which dials things back a notch. Its emotional lyrics paint a picture of conflict and confusion within a relationship that’s teetering on the brink. It’s smart, sincere and proves these guys can actually put pen to paper. Vanilla Salt Black Voodoo brings the noise back – it’s chock full of deep guitar riffs, bass with attitude and twisted lyrics that are perfectly delivered, and Next Words you Say proves just how versatile Needham is as a vocalist. Avalanche is pure, sophisticated and is the kind of track average bands can only dream of writing. It will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience and underlines the band’s potential to cross genres and build a fan base that stretches far and wide.

bw1

Procrastinated Memoirs comes into its own with the oh-so-catchy Alabama Baby. You’ve probably seen the video – it’s won The Blue Trees a lot of new admirers. The track is the first of several smokin’ hot, Southern stormers that could’ve been laid down at Muscle Shoals. Alabama Baby epitomises fun times, boys & girls, beer and barbeques. Get it on your summertime playlist before you regret it! While you’re there, add Radio too. It’s yet another stand out track in which everyone pulls their weight. It’s got so many elements to it that it could easily fall on its face, but it doesn’t. And just when you think J T Cody’s lightning fretwork has snatched glory, Needham slams home an accomplished rap that totally works.

By this stage we’re thinking things surely can’t get any better. We’ve been worked into a party-ready frenzy and it’s only 4pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Oh wait…they’ve done it again…Rhythm & Brews comes swaggering along, tipping its hat to Johnny Cash and throwing in some catchy harmonica and banjo twists for good measure. It’s our personal favourite and left us mulling the possibility that Jacob Needham is in fact the bastard love child of Ronnie Van Zant and Mick Jagger. Probably not, but with his range, attitude and tone, he sounds like he could be. These guys rock; Just Dropped In proves it. Dirty, edgy, raw and accented by yet another unbelievable guitar solo.

King without a Crown is a luscious piece of soft Southern rock that starts to wind the party down. It’s classy and well measured without sounding dull, allowing Needham to show a silkier side of his voice. Ol’ Bones is modern rock that steps away from swampland juke joints and into the city with its contemporary, urban sound that is still undeniably rock music. The final track, Say your Prayers, eases you back to reality with a soft landing – the perfect comedown from one of the most exciting albums we’ve heard this year.

logo

Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees have dropped a bombshell with Procrastinated Memoirs. An incendiary mix of effortless rhythms, raging guitar solos, confident lyrics and a front man who delivers. It’s a must-listen album and we can’t help but think this is the start of something very big indeed.

If you want to get in touch with Jacob Needham & the Blue Trees, contact Bobby Collins, Director of Operations at Spectra Music Group:

bobbycollins@spectramusicgroup.com
(O) 843.628.3555 Ext. 101  –  (F) 843.494.9626  –  http://www.spectramusicgroup.com

Links & Social Media:

http://www.bluetreenation.com/

https://facebook.com/JacobNeedhamandTheBlueTrees

https://youtube.com/user/Jneedham2910

https://instagram.com/blue_tree_nation

Under the Radar: Luna Blue

By Barry Humphreys

Brighton based Luna Blue’s approach to their musical landscape brings with it a remarkable set of influences. The sound of this band defies – in fact proudly denies – getting itself identified to any one box, trend or fad. Are they funky? Yes! Are they jazz? Yes! Are they soul? Yes! Are they rock? Yes! They cross boundaries and carve out wayward paths in territories that so many other musicians haven’t even thought to explore.

Live

These guys give new meanings to the words “alternative” and “indie”, but without forgetting the necessity of making their music superbly accessible for the listener. It’s not broad brush strokes on their musical canvas either, its fine detail that comes to life in audio-full-colour. They have imagination, passion, sincerity, but manage to make it look and sound easy at the same time.

Perhaps it’s no surprise to find out then that as individuals, Tom (vocals and rhythm); Ryan (lead guitar); Nick (bass); and Seb (drums), were still wearing short trousers when they started playing and listening to music. It’s fairly obvious that along the way they’ve absorbed influences to the point where they’ve made them personal, taken ownership and carefully nurtured them. It makes me wonder what remains untapped and waiting in stasis for future discovery!

live 2

The depth of imagination is underlined by their recent appearance with a thirty-piece orchestra in Chichester, with arrangements for said players by Nick. For the time being at least, it was a one-off event and I for one am gutted that I found out about it too late to get myself there. Some small consolation for me – and you- is the promise of a forthcoming release of the recording of the event.

They’re currently working on songs to be released later in the year, but discover them now by way of 2017’s Nightjar EP. Float Away is restrained, tight, structured, thoughtful; the soulful Borrowed Words; Welcome Home casually laid-back and controlled…. But my advice would be to leave the title song, Nightjar, to the end of your introductory listen. From its very start it’s a menacing song which in parts is almost blissfully uncomfortable in the best of ways. It’s a deep dark hymn that echoes around your senses but pulls you into a drifting, shifting musical soundscape. Listen to this and walk away feeling slightly disturbed but uplifted at the same time.Then go back and listen to it all again. Luna Blue have that sort of effect. Wonderful!

Luna Blue are geared up to make a big impression this summer. They’re lined up to play the Seaside Rox Music Festival in Bognor Regis on 21st April 2018, so get along and show them some support! Meanwhile, check out their links below:

Under the Radar: Lissy Taylor

Countless young British musicians dream of making it in the USA. For most it’s a fantasy hindered by a fear of the unknown. Fortunately, for every thousand dreamers there’s one artist with the talent, drive and creativity to make their mark across the pond. Lissy Taylor is that one…and she’s making a big impression on both sides of the Atlantic.

Bridge

 

Armed with an instantly recognisable voice and a gift for writing music and lyrics that hit home from the first bar, it’s hard to believe Lissy Taylor is only seventeen. Her talent belies her years and leaves us wondering just how far she can go. She’s classic yet contemporary. Take a pinch of Joan Baez, a splash of Bobbie Gentry and season with equal measures of Lana Del Ray and Norah Jones. Now you’re beginning to understand what Lissy’s all about.

mike

Lissy’s ambition is clear. How many seventeen year olds can you name who have the talent, confidence and motivation to pack up there acoustic guitar and head out to take on the biggest musical stage in the world? Not many we bet. And she’s already finding success. Since landing in Lexington, KY, her unmistakable style and charming live performances have garnered plenty of attention. She’s already performed at a number of festivals, live shows and was one of the winning acts at the Eastern Kentucky Battle of the Bands, wooing the judges with a dazzling rendition of She, a fiery, self-penned track that oozes maturity. Back in Blighty, Lissy has also featured on the legendary BBC Introducing – an accolade in itself.

Reminds Me of You was Lissy’s debut EP, released in January 2017 at the age of sixteen. Recorded and produced at Broken Crow Studios, Lexington, she stuck to form and committed 100%, enlisting a selection of top-class session musicians to support her. It was a brave move and it paid off big time. The result is a high-quality snapshot of her talent as an emerging singer songwriter. The EP is polished and purposeful, delivering a captivating blend of chilled Americana, acoustic balladry and edgy country-rock. The emotionally charged Home was written when Lissy was just fourteen. We urge insecure and disillusioned musicians to avoid listening to this track at all costs – Lissy’s talent may well be the final nail in the coffin for your music career.

Lissy’s latest venture shows she’s not content to sit on her laurels and blend in with the crowd. Her new track, I Will Wait, sees her team up with another young artist, James Bell, to deliver something entirely different. It’s a pop song that will attract a different audience to Reminds Me of You, but there’s no denying the chemistry between these two.  I Will Wait has received some impressive feedback across social media and it looks like whatever Lissy Taylor touches is set to turn to gold.

Like what you hear? Get in touch with Lissy Taylor via Urban Antenna, or check out her website:

www.LissyTaylor.com

Also follow her on social media:

Facebook  https://www.facebook.com/lissytaylormusician/

ReverbNation https://www.reverbnation.com/lissytaylor?profile_view_source=header_icon_nav

Instagram https://www.instagram.com/lissytaylor__/?hl=en

Twitter  https://twitter.com/lissytaylor17

YouTube  https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC33eq9vhre7Ksn0AvvBJy2w

 

 

 

 

Under the Radar: Haunted like Human

Nashville is synonymous with Country but scratch the surface and there’s so much more. Urban Antenna has been scouring the Tennessee back streets to see what alternative acts are lurking in the shadows. Our searching has paid off…we’ve unearthed a fantastically promising contemporary folk duo who are just waiting to be picked by a record label.

DSC_0001

Haunted like Human are Cody Clark and Dale Chapman. Clark is an unassuming and highly talented guitarist. He’s a musical thoroughbred with a degree in composition; his understanding of musical form is evident in his delicate yet complex conceptions. Chapman is a folk-vocalist who delivers her lyrics with true emotion and depth. She writes from the heart and is an accomplished poet and lyricist. They combine to great effect and their song writing a joy to listen to, especially when you realise they have only been collaborating for ten months.

 

IMG_5908

Haunted like Human’s debut LP, Ghost Stories, is a dreamy and uplifting twelve-track album that was recorded following a highly successful crowd funding campaign. The album is two parts folk and one part Americana, flavoured with a dash of The Civil Wars and Penny & Sparrow. It’s pure and uncluttered, focusing on guitar, cello and vocals. Less is more in this case and the apparent simplicity of the album is its main strength.

IMG_7365

Ghost Stories begins its journey with the spellbinding First Light. Some may find it strange to open an album with an instrumental, especially when Chapman’s striking vocal is so prominent thereafter, but it represents just what it stands for: a glorious sunrise on a perfect summer morning. The title track, Ghost Stories, offers the first real taste of Haunted like Human. It’s a beautifully evocative song that’s full of meaning and is delivered with true emotion by both musicians.

From a UK perspective, the infectious River (Come Back Up) has the greatest potential for success. It’s the most mainstream track on the album but it’s also one of the strongest. With a toe-tapping beat and tons of romantic imagery, this track screams summer. Other standout tracks are the heart breaking Benjamin – a poignant story of lost love; the powerful Tides and the soulful In a Bad Way. Storyteller is a fantastic closing track and winds the album down to a perfect conclusion, an opposing bookend to First Light that provides a peaceful sunset to a wonderful album.

IMG_7141

It’s set to be a busy year for Haunted like Human as they continue gaining exposure on the Nashville circuit, writing new material and preparing for a booked-out summer touring the States. They’re set to be firm favourites on the festival scene, starting this March in Austin at the Red Gorilla Music Fest followed by Dirty Fest. If you’re in the area, get along and show them some support!

Like what you hear? Get in touch with Haunted like Human via Urban Antenna, or follow them on social media:

https://www.facebook.com/haunted.like.human.music/

Twitter: @HLHOfficial