'Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences'

Posts Tagged ‘Mumford and Sons

No need for a pommel horse; tracks from Purity Ring, Labyrinth Ear, Queen of Hearts, Mikky Ekko and Mumford fly through the air with the greatest of ease…

leave a comment »

Purity Ring is a future-pop duo made up of Montreal, Quebec natives Corin Roddick and Megan James. The duo released their debut album ‘Shrines’ on July 23rd, 2012 (UK) and July 24th, 2012 (US & Canada) and are signed to British indie label 4AD. In just a couple of weeks the album has collected countless favourable reviews, including a 9/10 from NME and 8/10 from Drowned In Sound.

The band appear at first listen to be a sublime contradiction in terms; Roddick’s hip hop-inspired percussion flying through the air with the greatest of ease, never losing its grip on James’ ethereal and lyrically vehement vocals. Roddick and James have earned themselves an enviable fanbase amongst their peers since the album’s release, with Mikky Ekko and label mate Grimes posting favourable comments about their work. I was especially drawn to ‘Obedear’ and ‘Fineshrine’ on my first listen of the album. Purity Ring should achieve great things this year.



Labyrinth Ear have released a new track, ‘Urchin’, which has been made available as a free download at:

The band are currently recording their debut album and this is the first track to be released from the record. If you have heard their first EP ‘Apparitions’, you will understand my justifiable excitement at this revelation.


Queen of Hearts has released a cover of Ben Howard‘s ‘Only Love’, no doubt to tide fans over whilst she finishes work on an EP of new material, set to be released in September 2012. Being a fan of both artists, I can only live in hope of a future Howard cover of ‘Neon.’


Mikky Ekko has posted a new track, ‘We Must Be Killers’ on his social networking pages and a link to a video which is rather wonderful. The track is played against a backdrop of scenes from The Fox and the Hound; I love foxes, I love hounds and I love Mikky Ekko – what’s not to love about all of the above?!


Last but not least; Mumford and Sons have released an audio version of the first single to be taken from their upcoming album ‘Babel’. ‘I Will Wait’ is a noticeably more fast-paced folk offering than we have become accustommed to from the Mumford boys. Perhaps the merger of marriage with a frenetic life on the road has provided some welcome songwriting inspiration for Marcus? / / / /

shelleyhanveywriter 🙂


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

August 8, 2012 at 1:47 pm

Noah and The Whale – New album and live shows for 2011

leave a comment »

Noah and The Whale – New album and live shows for 2011

With the temperature forecasted to plummet to -3 around these north western parts in the coming days, I thought today was going to be somewhat solemn…oh how wrong could I have been, my Fink and Folk- loving friends!

Noah and The Whale; the quirky, quite simply brilliant  and in my opinion most underrated band of recent times, are set to release their third album ‘Last Night on Earth‘ in March 2011. Expectation will be high for this record after the masterpiece that was debut album ‘Peaceful, the World Lays Me Down‘ (2008) and their second, perhaps more suitably somber offering,’The First Days of Spring‘ (2009).

I had the chance to review the band last year at Manchester Cathedral and it was genuinely one of the top three live shows I’ve been to. Songwriter and creative force Charlie Fink just has this charismatic authority about him, which compels you to watch and generally just marvel at the musical craftsmanship on stage. The venue also helped to make the performance feel other-worldly and that little bit special. To be honest, I get quite miffed when I hear Mumford and Sons touted as the British pioneers of the folk revival or nu-folk; I not only rate Noah and The Whale much higher, but they were also established a good two years prior to the latter. Alas, it seems such grandiose titles only apply if the person saying them just happens to prefer said band, after stumbling across them on their way out of the Radio 1 studios. But I digress…

To bookend the album’s release, the band have also announced some UK dates next Spring:

Wednesday 30th March 2011 – Deaf Institute, Manchester

Thursday 31st March 2011 – Brundenell, Leeds

Saturday 2nd April 2011 – Stereo, Glasgow

Sunday 3rd April 2011 – Whelans, Dublin

Monday 4th May 2011 – Thekla, Bristol

Tickets go on sale this Friday 26th November, 2010 via

The first single from ‘Last Night on Earth‘ will be aired for the first time next week (week commencing 29th November, 2010) and I will endeavour to post a clip of the track on here.

Till then…keeeeeeeeeep Folking! 🙂

As promised – here is the link to  the new single, ‘L.I.F.E.G.O.E.S.O.N’:

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

November 24, 2010 at 5:56 pm

Johnny Flynn, ‘Been Listening’ – album review

with 2 comments

You know that feeling that you get when you realise you’re in exactly the right place, at exactly the right time and even if given the chance; you wouldn’t change one single moment of it? I had that very feeling when  I visited the Cambridge Folk Festival for the first time this year…it happened, whilst I was watching Johnny Flynn and the Sussex Wit perform.

Being a relative newcomer to the expansive genre of folk music, I had done some research on a selection of the artists performing and made a most delightful discovery in the form of Flynn’s debut album ‘A Larum.’ The 14-track folk-rock recording was released in 2008 and features such superbly crafted tunes as ‘The Box’, ‘The Wrote And The Writ’, ‘Tickle Me Pink’,Shore to Shore’ and ‘Eyeless in Holloway.’ Unlike perhaps some of his current nu-folk contemporaries, Flynn could never be categorised as one-dimensional; with his debut album swaying sweetly in the summer Sussex breeze between ‘pure folk’, country, blues and rock. I like a bit of diversity on a record; which makes it all the more pleasing to hear on a daily basis and not at all repetitive. I do tend to get a bit obsessive with new discoveries; I will find an album that I really like and literally listen to it every day, from start to finish, till I’ve learnt every lyric, every key change, every hidden moral and then I’ll rest for a while. Then the process starts over. I am having just that love affair at the moment with Flynn’s second album ‘Been Listening.’

The album doesn’t care for easing you in gently, preferring to eyeball you with the brass-laden, calypso opening of ‘Kentucky Pill’, watching you shift  suspiciously in your seat, eyes darting and rising as you quickly reach the conclusion that there’s no point fighting it; you’re hooked and there’s no going back. ‘Lost And Found’ follows, allowing the listener to regain their composure with its soothing melody and emotive, maritime-referenced ode to the macabre. It would be fair to say that Flynn’s first album touched more than a little upon the subjects of death and funerals; but strangely enough, never in a morose, depressing sort of way. I am of the belief, to reference one of Flynn’s peers and another favourite wordsmith of mine; Charlie Fink (Noah and the Whale) that ‘…you don’t know how it feels to be alive. Until you know how it feels to die’ (‘Shape Of My Heart’).

I really enjoy the Take-Away Shows on Blogotheque; on which Flynn appears, performing three tracks from his debut album. The videos are shot on location in Buenos Aires and are a perfect introduction to the genius and vision of Vincent Moon. I’d definitely recommend a viewing at the link below:,4703

Next up is Flynn’s account of loves; past, present and future, throughout the seasons in the evergreen‘Churlish May.’ The album title track, ‘Been Listening’ follows, with some soulful electric-stringed inflections to reel you in, then Flynn’s deep and dark dulcet tones to keep you enthralled throughout. I am in a most enjoyable- albeit fantasy- position at the present moment in time, as I cannot decide which voice alone I would most prefer to hear for the rest of my life; that of Charlie Fink or that of Johnny Flynn…I may have to do some kind of practical experiment in the very near future, so I’ll let you know how I get on with that one. Restraining order permitting, of course.

The track that I remember most vividly from Cambridge would have to be ‘Barnacled Warship’, which is the next track on the album. Flynn showcased his musicality with this number to breathtaking reception, alternating between violin and acoustic guitar with empassioned ease, as he took festival-goers on a trip across the high seas fighting the waves, the enemy and the inner workings of his own mind. A duet, entitled ‘The Water’ with critics-favourite Laura Marling is another album highlight. Marling’s honeyed tones complement Flynn’s perfectly in this dedication to that most pure and essential, yet at times deadly substance; This track has just been confirmed as Flynn’s next single release, on November 1st, 2010.

I am reviewing Mumford and Sons this coming weekend in Manchester, for which Flynn has been confirmed as support. I can hardly contain my excitement at seeing both of these tremendous acts in one billing and have heard great things about Mumford’s live performance prowess. Should be a brilliant show, of which I will of course be reporting back in full on here.

‘Howl’ should be a great track to hear performed live, given the instrumentation and vocal skills on display. Listening to Flynn’s work, it is hard to come to terms with the fact that there are artists out there at the moment, enjoying huge success on an international scale, who could never hope to possess such talent as a lyricist, let alone be musically proficient on such a varied scale from brass to strings and beyond. To be fair though, I am pretty sure that international acclaim and everything that goes with it, however nice that would be, is not Flynn’s primary motivation. I know him you see; we’re like that (index and middle finger crossed…)

‘Amazon Love’ is simply beautiful; Flynn’s sister Lillie sings on this piano and cello-led ballad about that emotion which we all feel and all wish we sometimes didn’t. ‘The Prizefighter And The Heiress’ concludes the album with an initially gentle and sauntering take on the differences between two star-crossed lovers, which steadily rides in to a country-fused western number; a fitting note on which to close an album peppered with diverse influences and dramatic displays of musical wizardry.

Flynn embarks on a solo tour of the UK in December, 2010:

Saturday 4th – O2 Academy, Birmingham

Sunday 5th – Academy, Manchester

Tuesday 7th – The Liquidroom, Edinburgh

Thursday 9th – The Trinity Centre, Bristol

Friday 10th – O2 Shepherds Bush Empire, London

Saturday 11th – St Georges Church, Brighton

Sunday 12th – Phoenix Arts Centre, Exeter

I would highly recommend paying him a visit at one of these shows. Tickets can be purchased from or via the links below:

Kassidy at Roadhouse, Manchester 8/10/10 – Win tickets

leave a comment »

Glasgow indie-folk quartet Kassidy head out on their debut headline tour this October, taking in venues as far-reaching as Stornoway and London.

The band’s unique sound is created with just four acoustic guitars and if their recent festival performances at Latitude, Reading and T In The Park are anything to go by, this band are set for big things in the coming months. Their second EP, ‘The Rubbergum EP Volume 2’, is out now and includes the beautiful and haunting new track ‘Take Another Ride.’ Their debut album is set for release next year.

I think that fans of Mumford and Sons, Fleet Foxes and Band of Horses will really like this band’s sound, which is a million miles away from Glasgow and much closer to the dusty and scorched landscape of deepest Arizona; as depicted in the video, but in reality shot in Spain! Critics have bestowed the following comments on Kassidy: 

“They rock, but with acoustic guitars, producing a harmony-filled, rootsy swagger that frames them as the British Kings Of Leon.” – Q

“The authentic sound of the Wild West of Scotland…we’re smitten.” – The Word

“Their latest album is full of sweeping, wall-of-sound guitar music that moves with ease between foot-stomping, festival-friendly fare and tender acoustic harmonies.” – Monocle


I have a pair of tickets to see the band at Roadhouse, Manchester on Friday 8th October, 7pm with support to be announced shortly. Thanks to Kat at Universal Music for these.

To enter the competition, just send me an e-mail at with your name and address details by Friday 24th September 2010. I will pick a winner out of the makeshift hat and get your tickets to you asap. Whilst you’re browsing the virtual world, you might also like to peruse my Facebook page at ‘shelleyhanveywriter’s page.’

Good luck!

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

September 6, 2010 at 1:34 pm

2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize shortlist; hooray for Folk!

leave a comment »

2010 Barclaycard Mercury Prize – shortlist announced today (July 20th, 2010)

Well the Mercury Prize shortlist has been announced today and I am delighted to see 3 folk artists/bands in the line-up; those being Laura Marling’s ‘I Speak Because I Can’, Villagers’ ‘Becoming a Jackal’ and Mumford & Sons’ ‘Sigh No More.’ The full list is below:

Biffy Clyro, ‘Only Revolutions’

I Am Kloot, ‘Sky At Night’

Dizzee Rascal, ‘Tongue N’ Cheek’

Paul Weller, ‘Wake Up the Nation’

Corinne Bailey Rae, ‘The Sea’

The xx, ‘xx’

Villagers, ‘Becoming a Jackal’

Kit Downes Trio, ‘Golden’

Foals, ‘Total Life Forever’

Laura Marling ‘I Speak Because I Can’

Wild Beasts, ‘Two Dancers’

Mumford & Sons, ‘Sigh No More’

With a talent for poetry and lyricism far beyond her tender 20 years; Laura Marling is well respected in both folk and wider contemporary circles. This, her second album, was released in March 2010 and peaked at number 4 in the Official UK Chart and number 1 on the iTunes UK Chart. The album has produced two singles thus far; those being ‘Goodbye England (Covered in Snow) and ‘Devil’s Spoke.’ These just happen to also be two of my favourite tracks from a genuinely striking and sublime record.

Villagers are an Irish indie-folk band, hailing from Malahide in Dublin. This, their debut album, was released in May 2010 and immediately topped the Irish Albums Chart and the Irish Indie Albums Chart. Lead singer Conor J. O’Brien is widely respected and lauded for his songwriting, musicality and influence amongst his peers. O’Brien’s music has been described as drawing inspiration from dark imagery and by romanticising the mundane aspects of life. Definitely a wordsmith to note for the future.

I think most people will have heard of Mumford & Sons at this point; regardless of whether they happen to be a fan of folk music. This, their debut studio album, was released in October 2009, peaking at number 6 in the Official UK Charts in July 2010. The album has since been certified Platinum in the UK and has produced the following hit singles, ‘Little Lion Man’, ‘Winter Winds’, ‘The Cave’ and ‘Roll Away Your Stone.’ Continuously sold out shows confirm the band’s popularity both at home and abroad. I would be surprised if this band weren’t judged to be in the top 3 of those shortlisted; but then again, I fear other factors come in to play with these commercial prize-giving ceremonies; I still haven’t got over Lisa Hannigan not walking away with the award for ‘Sea Sew’ last year.

Still, us folk fans can dream and hope, hope and dream; I think these three are worthy winners but would like to have also seen Richard Hawley’s ‘Truelove’s Gutter’ and Noah and the Whale’s ‘The First Days of Spring’ nominated. But, you can’t have everything.

Alan Pownall, ‘True Love Stories’ – album review

with one comment

Having heard his name being reviewed and revered a great deal of late; I decided to check out the folk-pop/alternative offerings of Alan Pownall this week.

Pownall is a London-based singer-songwriter, currently signed to Mercury Records. His debut single ‘Chasing Time’ was first played by Fearne Cotton on Radio 1 in February of this year, and his debut album ‘True Love Stories’ was later released on 25th June 2010. Cotton claimed that the debut single made her cry on first listen; luckily for Pownall these were tears of joy rather than the alternative. I have included a link below to the BBC Introducing session with Alan, where he performs ‘Chasing Time’ and chats to the brilliant blubber herself in the studio.

Although I think it only fair to give an album a good few listens in full before drawing your conclusions; I do often tend to skip a couple of tracks along the way as my mind sifts my favourite tracks from the also-rans. With this album however, I found that no sifting was required as I found diverse yet complementary hooks in each track which kept my attention throughout. Stand out tracks for me would be: ‘Too Many Holes’, More or Less’, ‘Don’t You Know Me’, and ‘Clara’; but my favourite of the record would have to be ‘Colourful Day.’

The 24-year old’s soothing and swooning vocals are at their best on this track, which is accompanied by an equally sublime and summery music video. Pownall has been likened to Jack Johnson which is a comparison that I can see on a couple of tracks; however, I think he fits much better in to the burgeoning and rather exciting London indie-folk scene, with the likes of Noah and the Whale and Mumford and Sons. I would agree that Pownall’s sound is slightly more melancholy than Mumford’s, but this for me would never be a criticism; I’m a Cancer and we just love to drift away, riding the waves of emotion or basking on the shores of sentimentality.

Pownall has supported the likes of Adele and Marina and the Diamonds on recent tours and has a couple of gigs coming up over summer for our southern-dwelling friends; I look forward to catching him up north very soon. I predict big things for him in the coming years.

Written by shelleyhanveywriter

July 19, 2010 at 2:48 pm

Currently listening to…Miley, Mumford and Metric

leave a comment »

I didn’t even plan for the triple M’s there…

I like to consider myself as having an open-minded and therefore wide-ranging musical taste; my friend calls me fickle, I say no, I just like what I like, sometimes there doesn’t have to be reasoning!

I am currently listening to three songs which I really like: a big screen teen angst power ballad, a contemporary yet classic sounding folk beat and a stadium-rock belting number from Canada. That is; Miley Cyrus’s ‘When I Look At You’, Mumford and Sons’ ‘The Cave’ and Metric’s ‘Gimme Sympathy‘.

With regards to Cyrus, I have to say that I really enjoyed the film that this is featured on, ‘The Last Song’. My friend and I went to see it expecting to be surrounded by tweens but alas no, just a few fellow Miley fans, eager to see her big screen outing in the film adaptation of Nicholas Sparks’ new book of the same name. I have to say I love Nicholas Sparks’ writing too, you can’t beat a love story set in the deep south with floaty characters, elaborate declarations and hidden secrets. I also love  a power ballad and this is a great one to sing at fellow drivers on the mundane trip to your 9 to 5…just me then?

Metric are a Canadian indie-rock band who are really big stateside, but have only recently made the jaunt over this way to chance their arm. I saw them on Jools Holland and loved this song, I can imagine it going down a storm at festivals…or perhaps blasting out on a pier as Liam and Miley do the slow jog towards each other, grinning like Cheshire Cats, love it.

And as for Mumford, well I just love all the tracks on their debut album ‘Sigh No More.’ This is probably my favourite and never fails to get me tapping away (feet, fingers, QWERTY keyboard) to the brilliant beat.


Written by shelleyhanveywriter

June 8, 2010 at 4:23 pm

%d bloggers like this: