A round-up of recent EPs and singles
RESIDENT ALIEN is an apt name for Russian-born songwriter/musician Daniel Herzog. Now based in London, Daniel released his first album in 2010 and now he is partnered by Chris Pepper and supported by Stephen Picard who co-wrote the final track, ‘Circle Without End’, on which he plays acoustic guitar and which features a really nice electric solo. The title track of his EP Strawberry Moon is a little radio-friendly but ‘Child Of The City is the star turn here.
Nineteen-year-old FINLAY LESLIE releases her debut single, ‘Reality’ next week. Originally from Dover, Finlay is a member of the YouTube generation which is where her break came. She plays acoustic guitar and the backing is built up on a foundation of piano and bass which never threaten to overwhelm the song. There seems to be great deal of youthful angst in ‘Reality’ but it has to be said that Finlay’s diction is not her greatest asset and too much of the lyric is lost.
KITTY MACFARLANE has some impressive friends including Sam Kelly who produced her debut EP, Tide & Time, Jamie Francis, Lukas Drinkwater and Ciaran Algar – that’s a pretty good band. Kitty is from Somerset and has an affinity with the sea. ‘Wrecking Days’ is a story of beachcombing and the title track was inspired by Normandy oyster fishermen while ‘Lamb’, based on a poem by William Blake, evokes a stretch of the Somerset coast. ‘Bus Song’ brings us inland and anyone who has lived out in the country will identify with it. Finally, Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’ uses the sea as a metaphor for lost love. Kitty has a strong voice and way with a lyric that makes her a name to watch.
‘Ha Ha Haf’ is the debut release from Welsh band OMALOMA – George Amor, Daf Owain, Gruff ab Arwel and Llyr Pari. It’s a happy, poppy, almost psychedelic song for summer big on keyboards with a clever instrumental break that comes in at about the ninety second mark.
Hers may be a name from the past but JULIE FELIX has her finger on the pulse of the contemporary folk scene. Her first single (download only) for Foskett’s Folk Factory is a gorgeous cover of Peter Knight’s song, ‘From A Lullaby Kiss’. Peter plays violin on the track and Julie’s voice is immediately recognisable although like Joan Baez and Maddy Prior she has a lower register now with the power that goes with that richness of tone. Although Julie has never stopped working her profile has been far too low recently. Let us hope that this release does something to address that.