NO THEE NO ESS – California (Folkwit Records)

CaliforniaNo Thee No Ess are a unique Cardiff duo comprising Andy Fung and Paul Battenbough who just so happened to have released their most recent Long Player at the tail-end of last year. California draws from a range of influences from the American West Coast; including the folk-rock/ singer songwriter approach, the Bakersfield (country) sound, NorCal indie rock and the SF psych scene; where the album most noticeably appears to set its roots.

Opener, the almost ‘surfy’ ‘Mind Flow Bender’ sets the tone for the album’s meandering psychedelic vibes, creating a certain ambiance which remains constant throughout the record. Gently it flows from one song to the next, bringing a similar feeling to the likes of the mellow and distant title track and the more experimental ‘1960 Alpha’. Before long, shades of Laurel Canyon and Bakersfield subtly grace the likes of ‘Evening Breeze’, ‘Electric Hand’ and the slow moving ‘City of Dreams’ as it repeats the mantra: “Open up your mind to the possibilities of your life”. Like much of the record, these vocals ‘sit’ above the music and don’t feel forced or too intrusive, although because of this, there are also times in which they become almost too ambient, putting the song’s narrative in danger of getting lost among the sound collage of Fung and Battenbough’s imagined California.

While the album’s ‘atmosphere’ is constant, it is occasionally strayed from; in the latter part of ‘Wear Your Love/ Sylvia Plath’, in which new twists, turns and sounds are introduced, in ‘Plainsong’ and in the curiously titled ‘Moonbathing’; a track which feels less like something born out of an intrigue of the Golden State and something more reminiscent of the sounds of fellow countrymen, the Super Furry Animals.

Christopher James Sheridan

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website.

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Artists’ website: http://folkwit.com/artists/no-thee-no-ess

‘Mind Flow Bender’ – official video:

Jarrod Dickenson announces new album and single.

Jarrod Dickenson
Photograph by Marianne McCourt

Jarrod Dickenson announces the release date for his long awaited album Ready The Horses as September 29th 2017 and reveals new single ‘California’.

Storytelling is something of a Texas tradition. Tall hats and even taller tales are woven into the fabric of The Lone Star State, and singer-songwriter, Jarrod Dickenson can spin a yarn with the best of them. Hailing from Waco, now based in Nashville, Jarrod spends most of his time on the road bringing his own particular brand of soulful Americana to a wide variety of music loving audiences around the globe.

Jarrod’s critically acclaimed album The Lonesome Traveler and his subsequent EP Songs From Willow St paved the way for him to tour the UK, Ireland and Europe extensively over the last several years. Breakout performances at Glastonbury and Larmer Tree Festival, along with recent tours supporting legendary artists such as Bonnie Raitt, Don McLean, The Waterboys and Jools Holland have earned Jarrod a formidable and loyal fan base across the globe, including BBC radio hosts Dermot O’Leary, Cerys Matthews, Huey Morgan, Janice Long, Robert Elms and Alex Lester.

The past few months have been quite a ride for Jarrod. With Ready The Horses originally due for a March 2017 release, early reviews from a substantial spread of music magazines had proved the album a critical success. Jarrod was all set to reveal the fruits of his labours to the public when, after his fifth headline UK tour, he caught the attention of Decca Records and Ready The Horses was picked up by the label.

Jarrod said of the news, “I think we’ve found a great home for the new album with Decca Records. It’s an honour to be working with such an iconic label, and to be a part of their rich musical history. I’m very proud of Ready The Horses, and I am excited to send it out into the world.”

With such mature songwriting, it’s hard to believe this is only album two for the sharp dressing and skillful pickin’ singer-guitarist. Jarrod embodies the originality and style of a bygone era with vintage-inspired-hats and traditional southern sensibilities. The laid back writing found throughout Ready The Horses is reminiscent of Gram Parsons, and Jarrod’s vocal flair has been compared to both a young Johnny Cash and Tom Waits.

All tracks on the album were recorded with the core band live onto 2” tape, with Jarrod recalling, “I’ve found that getting a group of musicians all together in the same room, and playing the songs live allows you to capture the energy and feel of a live performance, because it’s just that; a performance. You feed off each other, and create a much more honest and meaningful thing in my opinion. Recording to tape produces that warm sound we all love, but also affords you less room for error. I think it forces you to give each take your all.”

Cutting his teeth for 10 years on the Texas and New York circuits, Jarrod has recently enjoyed supported slots with The White Buffalo, The Stylistics and Jools Holland on UK tours. Following spots at Harvest Festival and Bestival over the summer, this October he will embark on a UK headline tour celebrating the release of Ready The Horses.

If you would like to order a copy of the album (in CD or Vinyl), download it or just listen to snippets of selected tracks (track previews are usually on the download page) then click below to be taken to our associated partner Amazon’s website.

Buying through Amazon on folking.com helps us to recover a small part of our running costs, so please order anything you need as every little purchase helps us.

Artist’s website: https://www.jarroddickenson.com/

‘Little Black Dress’ live: