Song reviews

  Deserts by Lizzie and the Yes Men

Deserts cover art

Indie rockers on the way up

“Deserts” is the kind of song that counts as commercial these days. Or at least it does if you have not been brainwashed by Saturday night talentless contests. With this song, Lizzie and The Yes Men demonstrate that they have the attitude and the reverb to lift themselves clear of lesser, melody free, indie rockers. Methinks many will feel the urge to sing along with this one.

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  It's OK by Josefin Falthin

It's OK cover art

Uplifting Swedish popster

OK, so her song, “It’s OK”, sounds like an offcut from the debut album by any American idol contestant but Josefin Falthin’s voice is anything but banal. She sounds precisely in control yet full of determination and emotion and, while I would hesitate to actually call her soulful, Josefin Falthin is undoubtedly the real deal.

  Moments by Daniel Badieie

Moments cover art

Swedish internationalist

A bit of lonely guitar in reverb mode launches Daniel Badeie’s song “Moments”. Then the rich voiced Mr Badeie throws everything else into the song that he could find lying about. I’m not sure why he would want to hide his voice in such uninspired cacophony but the result ends up sounding more American than Swedish. Maybe that was the plan? 

  Invitation to the Blues by Serena Spedicato

Invitation to the Blues cover art

Stylish Italian jazz singer

Ever since Holly Cole’s seminal “Temptation” album, it has hardly been unusual for a jazz singer to civilise a Tom Waits song. Duly, Serena Spedicato brings supper club sophistication to the dark words of “Invitation To The Blues” and carries it off without a hint of awkwardness.  Simply tasteful and elegant!

  Highland Home by Dave Bremner

Highland Home cover art

Sentimental scotsman

“Highland Home” is a fundraiser for a charity called Clan Cancer Support Charity. It’s slow paced and reminiscent of Donnie Munro at his most parochial but, hey, it’s in a good cause so we’ll let that slip. No idea why the feeble attempt at faking the bagpipes was in there though.

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  Seven Days by Tom Vevers

Seven Days cover art

North Berwick singer songwriter

Tom Vevers demonstrates that he has a nice way with words in “Seven Days” even though it is a pretty standard too shy to talk to her tale. However, the song takes a long time to get going and, even then, trips over its own feet by making a rather awkward attempt at being indie rock. With some capable musicians, this song would have been so much better.

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  The Fulfillers by Brita Kristina

The Fulfillers cover art

Swedish super pop

“The Fulfillers” needs a couple of listens before you truly appreciate it. After a lumpy looped start and a stumbling first verse, the song then positively soars with an emotional female lead vocal and a trumpet taking it off towards the clouds. I like a song with ambition.

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  Coupe De Ville by Si Cranstoun

Coupe De Ville cover art

Revivalist preacher

That good time fifties r ‘n’ b sound gets revived, in a most respectful manner by Si Cranstoun. “Coupe De Ville” makes all the right noises for the retro crowd and is distinguished by our Mr Cranstoun’s confident and convincing vocals. One to make the cool cats happy.

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  Friction by Cardiophobia

Friction cover art

Italian indie rockers

Messed up Italian indie rockers start off all three chords and normal but then twist “Friction” into psychedelic distortion, a middle eight of proper rock riffs and some general weirdness. Inspired and more imaginative than the norm, Cardiophobia prove themselves to be a band with a clear purpose.

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  Katherine by The World Service

Katherine cover art

Lightweight melodics

Leeds band The World Service run all sweet and melodic with “Katherine” as they exhume Donovan and C86 influences for one more ear pleasing run through the history of pop. It’s the kind of song that makes you want to wear a cardigan and look dreadfully intense whilst your iPod gently weeps.

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  Butterfly by Lizzie Sider

Butterfly cover art

Young start up

“Butterfly” is about as commercial as you can get in the super safe world of Nashville country and Lizzie Sider – at a mere 14 years old – seems determined to use it to kickstart a career in da bizness. She has the attitude to get the job done but, given her tender years, it is perhaps unsurprising that she lacks the individuality that will stamp her indelibly in the memory of record buyers.

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  Woman on a Mission by Carrie Zaruba

Woman on a Mission cover art

Northbound to Nashville

Nashville country is hardly deprived of big voiced female singers telling it like it but Carrie Zaruba nonetheless sets out to make her mark with “Woman on a Mission”. The song has that confident yet still girl next door Shania Twain type vibe and a by the numbers production elevated only by some energetic fiddle playing. Undeniably, the end result is very truckstop waitress friendly, if you know what I mean.

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