MUK RECORDS’ CLEAN SWEEP ON BBC INTRODUCING MANCHESTER!

alker

Yet more confirmation that the waves being made by Manchester’s MUK Records are having a bigger impact and wider reach; as four of their incredibly diverse signings were played on BBC Introducing Manchester by BBC 6 Music’s Elizabeth Alker.

Berlin BerlinMUK’s purveyors of euphoric, stadium-sized pop were also in the studio – talking extensively before playing a fabulously glossy live cover version of Furniture’s cult classic Brilliant Mind, which Elizabeth described as sounding “absolutely wonderful – spectacular!”

She was no less impressed by the other MUK artists on the playlist: identifying Red Sky Noise‘s eclectic and powerful sound as “dance-y, jazzy, soulful… an absolute joy… ones to keep an eye on!” – and favourably compared singer Mica’s vocals to Emili Sandé.

Meanwhile, MDNGHT‘s ability to deftly recreate the feel of a sultry summer night’s party in their music was spotted – “perfect for a Saturday night,” whilst Bird To Beast‘s growing musical renown was just as clear: “lovely and pastoral – they know how to do harmonies!”

  • BERLIN BERLIN’s Brilliant Mind cover is the B-side to their fabulous new single, Be Here – Impact Date 17th November.
  • MDNGHT will be performing at this year’s Manchester Pride.
  • Red Sky Noise‘s video for their huge, soulful Only You has soared to over 20,000 views on Youtube.
  • Bird To Beast are touring extensively all summer and have just released the poignant video to Catacombs.

Photo: Matt Visser

CLEAR’s debut single “Sunlight” wowing radio DJs and industry taste-makers

ClearSunlightCoverASKMEeditmedium

singlesIMPACT DATE: 30th September
LABEL: End of the Trail Records

Clear‘s Sunlight is unexpectedly fresh, yet channelling classic West Coast pop; a new slice of classic songwriting, harking back to a golden age of perfectly-crafted pop songs.

BBC DJs Dermot O’Leary,  Gary Crowley, Tom Robinson, Janice Long and renowned tastemaker Simon Raymonde rushed to play – and heap praise on – their quintessentially pristine tunes. Gary went as far as naming Sunlight one of his “favourite songs of the summer.”

 

Clear have been carefully honing their craft, absorbing the golden-hued hits from the late 60s and early 70s – and trying to figure out what made them sound so timeless.

Thus, Paul Simon, Neil Diamond, James Taylor, Jackson Browne and that classic west-coast feel was temporarily relocated to the grittier locale of Sheffield when Clear penned Sunlight.

It was a song that catapulted them into the hearts of radio tastemakers, who all rushed to get the song on the air; wowed by the warm, dreamy, seemingly long-lost sounds. Listeners could be forgiven for thinking, “haven’t I heard this song before?”

Clear are hugely talented bunch – and when they sent Colin Elliot (producer of fellow Sheffield star Richard Hawley) their songs, he immediately understood their potential.

After Colin finished collaborating with Kylie Minogue at Abbey Road studios, he invited them into his own studio to capture Clear‘s warm, glossy sound. A short, fruitful session followed – and then Sunlight gloriously rose.

Gary Crowley: “Sumptuous pop music. One of my favourite songs of the summer.”

Janice Long‘s “Janice Loves” Radio 2 feature: “I think this is absolutely gorgeous”

Tom Robinson:Sunlight is a piece of classic pop songwriting – in that it could have appealed to audiences anytime in the last 40 years – yet there’s enough 21st Century sensibility in the writing, recording and performance for Sunlight to sound fresh-wrought rather than some kind of retread.”

Simon Raymonde: “Sunlight is like a happy-go-lucky version of Radiohead’s ‘Let Down‘… which is one of my all-time favourite songs.”

Chris Damms, Clear: “We were contacted by Colin Eliot, who is Richard Hawley’s producer and co-owner of Yellow Arch studios where Richard records all his albums. He had played with Andy, our drummer, and said he fancied doing a couple of tracks with us. The result was “Sunlight”. It had a definite west coast vibe; the sound of the late 60’s early 70’s writers. We didn’t want to copy them but just wanted to work out what exactly made those simple songs so timeless.”

Clear are:
Chris Damms – Piano, Guitars, vocals
Jools Buffey – Piano, vocals
Hugh Ruiz – Bass
Bryan Day – vocals, Guitars, Piano, Keyboards.
Andy Cook – Drums

facebook.com/clearbanduk
twitter.com/clearmusic2012

Music for Cities – Tim Burgess, Peter Hook, Puressence…

Tim Burgess, Peter Hook and Puressence will play a SOLD OUT unique concert at Manchester Cathedral on Thursday November 15th. The evening is called ‘Music for Cities’ and is a charity concert to help young people living on some of the area’s most disadvantaged estates of Greater Manchester.

Tim will be will be accompanied by musicians from the Chetham’s School of Music, alongside bandmate Mark Collins (The Charlatans) on guitar, Martin Duffy from Primal Scream on keyboards and the musical arrangements have been created especially by the celebrated local composer Joe Duddell. Tim says “We heard about the plans at Manchester Cathedral and it was too good to miss. Such an iconic venue and a brilliant idea for a gig, I love gigs in churches but the Cathedral is another notch up. Normally the atmosphere is helped along by the audience enjoying a drink beforehand. I take it there’ll be some altar wine for everyone.”

The night also includes a one off chance to hear Peter Hook and the Light perform the mesmerising music of Joy Division’sUnknown Pleasures,’ to the haunting backing of a 16 piece choir put together specially by Choral Director Greg Batsleer. Hooky’s set is being arranged by film and theatre composer Alex Baranowski. Peter commented “There’s a real detachment from local government in some of these areas. It’s wonderful that local people are being given the opportunity to rise to the challenges. The fact the inspiration for this concert is coming from within these communities is truly awe inspiring. Joy Division’s music is grandiose – just imagine how atmospheric it will sound with those acoustics and the choir.”

Fans of Manchester band Puressence are also in for a treat, listening to the soulful voice of lead singer Jimmy Mudriczki with the choir as part of a full band performance in the 800 year old Cathedral setting.

The line up will be completed by Norway’s Silvert Hoyem and Bad Lieutenant’s Jake Evans, making this an incredible evening of music.

Clare Moreland, the head at Chetham’s School of Music says: “Music for Cities is a superb opportunity for the musicians of Chetham’s to work with some very well known names in the popular music world, sharing their skills and inspiring other young people who are performing and watching the concert.”

Joe Duddell, Professor of Music at Bath Spa University says: “Music enriches all our lives and is not just the preserve of the privileged. For Chets to engage in outreach projects in more disadvantaged communities in and around Manchester and Salford is great. The other charity beneficiaries, United Estates of Wythenshawe and Reclaim directly engage disadvantaged youngsters in creative projects, giving them a vital form of self-expression and keeping them off the streets and away from drugs and gun crime. Some of these youngsters will be performing on stage between the major acts.”

7.00pm Doors Open

7.20pm Jake Evans

7.45pm Sivert Høyem

8.20pm Puressence

9.10pm Peter Hook & The Light

10.05pm Tim Burgess
11.00pm Curfew

All profits will be split three ways; between the charities Reclaim, and the United Estates of Wythenshawe and Chetham’s School of Music.

Reclaim has won many awards both nationally and locally and is now recognised as one of the core projects delivering quality youth opportunities across Greater Manchester. The project is about helping young people build self confidence and reliance on their own inherent talents that even they may not have realised.

United Estates of Wythenshawe are a charity and social enterprise based who help young people to build opportunity, confidence and sustainable futures that do not involve gang membership, violence or substance abuse.

Chetham’s School of Music will use their share of the profits to help fund their new School Building – an incredible new resource for the city of Manchester where there will be free concerts for the public, a new Outreach and Community Centre to benefit children and adults from all backgrounds and abilities across the region and beyond, and a Music Technology Centre with facilities for everyone too.

Joe Duddell is the composer behind the celebrated collaboration between Elbow and The Hallé for Manchester International Festival back in 2009, and recent broadcast of Richard Hawley & BBC Philharmonic Orchestra on BBC 6 Music. He has also worked with Jimi Goodwin (Doves), James and dubstep pioneers Nero. Joe is also a classical composer with commissions from The BBC Proms.

Alex Baranowski is a film, theatre and dance composer who has worked with the likes of Danny Boyle on Frankenstein, Nicholas Hynter on Hamlet and Ballet Black at The Royal Opera House. Alex recently branched out into the pop world with ‘The xx Symphony’ – a collaboration between The xx and BBC Philharmonic Orchestra.

Alex Hulme – The Start EP

Impact Date: 30th July 2012

Label: Cityscape

A beautiful song and a wonderful melody (Sir Paul McCartney)

It’s been a good year for Liverpool based, Alex. He has just graduated from LIPA (Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts) where  he played for its patron Sir Paul McCartney. He has also supported a wealth of artists including Willy Mason, Willis Earl Beal and Emmy the Great, 2012 certainly seems like the start of something good for this 21 year old singer/songwriter. Alex’s first two EPs caught the attention of BBC DJs, and festival programmers alike, but Alex’s third EP, The Start, showcases his best work to date. We advise you to listen to the EP in it’s entirety, the final track Sparks has become a firm favourite.

“I’m tired of always hearing down beat tracks from solo acoustic artists,” says Alex, “I really want to write the songs that people sing along to, the ones that make you want to turn them up, jump around and enjoy life!” The title track of the EP does just that. The Start is a pulsing, pounding, feel-good, acoustic pop song with glorious boy/girl summer harmonies. This could just be your feel good track of the summer!

Jack Robert Hardman – Lights of London

Impact date: OUT NOW on iTunes

jackroberthardman.co.uk

twitter.com/jrhardman

‘Lights Of London is the second single by 22 yrd old singer-songwriter/producer Jack Robert Hardman through Pleasant Pursuits / Essential Music.

Packed full of pulsating rhythms and intricate melody lines, ‘Lights of London’ tells the tale of a relentless desire to reach the bright lights of the big city. Fusing Hardman’s distinctive vocals and trademark production style, the song paints a dreamy picture of life in London, looking from the outside in.

Since releasing debut single ‘Famous’, Jack’s quirky pop music has attracted great excitement and interest from music scene luminaries such as  Huw Stephens (Radio 1), Tom Robinson (BBC 6music), John Kennedy (Xfm), and his local BBC Introducing presenter Linda Serck.

Quotes: listen to what Huw Stephens has to say about Jack below…

“His sound and writing have grown in range, and daring every time we’ve heard him”
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

“Harks back to happier days like a pleasing meld of Belle & Sebastian and The Postal Service
Middleboop

“Jack Robert Hardman should come with a warning label: his insanely catchy pop will stick in your head pretty much forever. He’s a supreme talent with a unique voice and take on life.”

BBC Berkshire Linda Serck

You can also listen to a sampler of Jack’s album from our SoundCloud page:

 

Blind Atlas – Kodiak Bear

www.blindatlas.co.uk

Blind Atlas have teamed up again with the incredible animator Volkerfirma films who created the video for ‘My Proud Mountains’ which was ‘Video of the week’ on the BBC6 Music Nemone Show. The latest animation for Kodiak Bear  is for the title track to their debut album, which is due out in April 2012. The results are simply stunning.

Hailing from Denver, Colorado and disparate points around the UK, Blind Atlas came together in the bohemian suburbs of South Manchester, united by a shared preoccupation with drinking, failed relationships and the Flying Burrito Brothers. Led by singer/guitarist Ross Thompson, Blind Atlas concoct a new take on American alternative country and classic British rock ‘n’ roll, taking inspiration from The Rolling Stones and Townes Van Zandt right through to artists such as Calexico and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.

Blind Atlas have notched up headline slots at some of the most iconic venues in Manchester, with dates planned around their forthcoming debut album. They recently released their ‘Iron wall’ EP which, along with their double A-side single ‘4th Street/For Carol“, was produced by The Earlies. Both releases garnered numerous radio plays including BBC Radio 2 (Bob Harris) and BBC6 Music (Cerys Matthews, Jo Good, Tom Robinson, Gideon Coe).

“… dramatic, spellbinding with a touch of darkness in parts make Blind Atlas a thoroughly hypnotic act … powerful and mesmerising… well worth your attention”.  [BBC]

“… grizzled vocals and a heart-wrenching lyric sheet … think Ryan Adams fronting The Black Keys, or perhaps Fleet Foxes with a Led Zeppelin fixation; and clearly all designed to soundtrack long, whisky-addled nights of anguished soul-searching.”  [CityLife/Manchester Evening News]

Jack Robert Hardman ‘Famous’

Impact date: 13:02:2012

www.jackroberthardman.co.uk

22-year-old Jack Robert Hardman writes and records his own brand of quirky pop music from his home studio in Ascot, UK. His intention of pushing the boundaries of production each time he records a new track has certainly been realised. You may have heard how, in the summer of 2011, Jack made his track ‘Sorry to George’ available as a free download. It attracted great excitement and interest from the blogosphere, being described as ‘dangerously addictive’ and ‘fantastically appealing’ by Eclectically Challengedsupport from radio came from John Kennedy (Xfm) and the BBC’s Tom Robinson , Huw Stephens and his local BBC Introducing presenter Linda Serck. See Music Week The Tastemakers below.

‘Famous’ is the first official single and is set for release through Pleasant Pursuits / Essential Music and Marketing. An acoustic blend of distinctive vocals and folk guitar melodies, the track’s intelligent juxtaposition of simple musical style with a lyrically complex theme showcases Hardman’s creative sensitivity at its best. The song tells of a youth’s insatiable desire to make something of their life, without any real plan on how to do it. In Hardman’s words “Famous captures the blissful naivety of youth that leads us to believe we can achieve anything.” You can check out the video below.

News:

BBC Introducing Masterclass:

Jack has been invited to the prestigious BBC Introducing Masterclass 2012 on Thursday 19th January at legendary Abbey Road and Maida Vale Recording Studios. In attendance will be; Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails), Wretch 32, Magnetic Man, Maverick Sabre, Jamie Cullum, Frank Turner, Brian Higgins (Xenomania), high profile music industry professionals and BBC Radio DJs:  Zane Lowe, Huw Stephens, Steve Lamacq, Tom Robinson, Jo Whiley, Rob Da Bank, Pete Tong, Tim Westwood, Ally McCrae, Daniel P Carter and Jen Long.

Music Week: The Tastemakers 13.01.12

Quotes:

“His sound and writing have grown in range, and daring every time we’ve heard him”
Tom Robinson, BBC 6 Music

“Harks back to happier days like a pleasing meld of Belle & Sebastian and The Postal Service”
Middleboop

“Jack Robert Hardman should come with a warning label: his insanely
catchy pop will stick in your head pretty much forever. He’s a supreme talent with a unique voice and take on life.”
BBC Berkshire Linda Serck

You can also stream “Famous” from our SoundCloud page:

You can also listen to a sampler of Jack’s album from our SoundCloud page too:

Phantom Limb – Draw the Line

singles button small

Release date:

11th October 09

Phantom Limb- Draw the Line

Bristol based country-soul sextet Phantom Limb seamlessly fuse waltz sounds with gospel and a classic blues rhythm in this elegant and enigmatic single preceding the re-release of their self titled debut album. The result is a smooth and polished track that showcases the uniquely rich mahogany voice of Yolanda Quartey. Draw The Line sees the band moving in a new direction, sounding “like its been around forever but doesn’t sound like anything I’ve ever heard”. With early support coming from the BBC and Q this track proves that less is more in music. Currently touring with Will Young, Phantom Limb deserve to be a household name. Check out the band’s MySpace for tour dates and more information, and check out the video below.