Welcome to Edition 47 of Trust The Doc. Please visit and ‘like’ the Trust The Doc Facebook page and follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
PART ONE: THE MONTH IN BRIEF
THE MONTH IN MUSIC
In the meantime you may have seen me using the expression ‘New Music never sleeps’. Well that is true! And June saw more great new tracks pouring into my Fresh on the Net in-box. It has also seen more artists sending me tracks and videos for my radio and TV shows and more pluggers, PR companies, labels, managers and agents also contacting me seeking opportunities for the artists they represent. Of course, that means it has been a little stressful at times and difficult to accommodate everyone who wants airplay. But it has also meant I have had the privilege of hearing so much new music before others and being able to select as many artists as possible to give exposure to. This blog plays an important part in that process too and this month I have reviewed over 50 artists and tracks across the widest possible spectrum of genres. So I hope you will have time to read them all!
Also given the ongoing uncertainty about funding for the foreseeable future with COVID-19 leading the main bodies to cancel applications and pour their resources into emergency grants, I am trying to launch a fundraiser to enable me to keep spending the time and resources necessary to support new music across all these media. If you are in a position to and would like to make a small contribution (and please don’t feel you should), the link is paypal.me/trustthedoctv
TRUST THE DOC RADIO SHOW
The Trust The Doc Radio Show continues to grow its audience. It goes out at 5PM (UK/BST) every Saturday on Exile FM. I always play a mix of new and emerging artists, current tracks by more established artists and a few older tracks linked to specific features. It has also become a popular gathering point for a large chunk of the independent music community. There are messages and shout-outs throughout the show, a Track of the Week poll, other weekly features and plenty of banter. The fact that I am being approached by more and bigger pluggers, PR companies, labels and agents looking for airplay for their artists is a good sign. Hopefully the show’s reputation will continue to spread. The official listening figures certainly say that is exactly what is happening. It is a joy to present the show and interact with so many lovely fans and purveyors of cool new music. If you miss the live shows you always have 7 days to catch them here.
TRUST THE DOC EXTRA
The Trust The Doc Extra pre-recorded midweek podcast increasingly allows me to play more tracks that I have not been able to get onto the playlist for the live Saturday show. But it is also developing its own individual character as a fast-paced show with less chat, more music that allows me to test out a lot of previously unheard material by new artists. Audience stats show it is gaining more listeners every week which I am really grateful for.
PART TWO: REVIEWS OF NEW MUSIC
Birmingham band Sugarcane call their music Caribbean Indie which is both an intriguing concept and a great way to announce their breezy summery take on Pop. Brainchild of accomplished scriptwriter and top session Bass Guitarist Robin French (Kanye West/Amy Winehouse/The Police), this is the second time I have blogged about them here.
Featuring once again the rising star of film and TV Antonia Thomas on vocals, this track does indeed does have a lilting Caribbean aura with sweet tune, organic instrumental backdrop and cool harmonies. Antonia’s agile and appealing voice provides the perfect lead. A tune to swoon to on a warm summer evening. One you can groove to or just lie back and enjoy.
Ngoni hails from Toronto in Canada and makes refreshing music that mixes a Neo Soul sensibility with some seriously classic Spy Movie Pop undertones. On You kill slowly the sharpness (in focal terms, not a comment on his intonation!) of his unique voice cuts through superbly as the arrangement swirls around him. You half expect to wake up and realise you are watching him on a big screen as credits roll on some sixties spy drama. His Soundcloud page compares him to Nina Simone which is more accurate than you might expect. This boy can sing.
I have blogged before about Worcester’s Loveday and she is back with another top tune in I can’t dance. No it’s not the Genesis track! This is a track driven along by a syncopated undercurrent ……
Liverpool artist Mia Wakefield makes semi-acoustic Pop that allows plenty of room for her voice to shine. On All I feel she …..
London-based Thailahmakes her second appearance in this blog with another striking piece of Pop with urban undertones on One Thing. It …
Milo Brown makes retro-tinged Pop with sweet melodies and clever arrangements. The young Londoner has a track entitled Life which ….
Belfast artist Quinn has been building a reputation and has been the recipient of some generous reviews. I can see why as her distinct voice and fine songwriting skills are fully in evidence on Trespasser. She …
London-based artist Iolais an intriguing artist who I have not come across previously but if My only home is an indication she has a distinct and unusual voice that gets quickly inside the brain as she delivers a ……….
One of those artists who is hard to comfortably categorise Tyneytells us she is a tiny person playing guitar although clearly she plays Ukulele too. And while DRIP is an enigmatic instrumental track it is the song You can’t deny that grabbed my attention when it landed in my in-box. The way it kicks off with strummed Uke, slow beat and Tyney’s distinct voice dominating made my ears pricked up. The tune is unusual and striking. Her voice has shades of Tori Amos in a mash with Natalie Imbruglia while Laura Marling officiates! Organic, minimal and fresh, a really strong performance all round.
Alt Rock & Indie
I have blogged previously about Swansea’s Geraint Rhysand he is back with another driving energetic slice of melodic Alt Rock with Welsh Language lyric in the form of Dewydd (Y Byd). The tune is immediate and the backing vocal harmonies add a lovely edge. I am delighted to say the video for this track was featured in Edition 6 of my Trust The Doc TV on 21st July and you can find his original video on YouTube here.
Queen Of Uncool is also known as Judy Fights Back and says she is a genre-fluid London girl surviving the hell out of life. In her latest offering Grim she mixes a bawdy punkiness with cool syncopated rhythmic structures and contrasts of sounds and textures to create an almost futuristic modification of Punk perfect for the new age. Bristling with energy and alight with firepower, this will wake you out of your sleepy state!
Somasu is an artist who doesn’t obviously slot into any neat category. On The Outside he …
I could have made the case for reviewing Nottingham’s Nactus Kunan‘s Johnny Wilkes in the Epic & Cinematic section as it has such a big but slightly melancholy chorus over descending chords. But it is essentially a gorgeous slice of Alt Pop that acknowledges classic influence from The Beatles to …..
Londoners Tugboat Captain also seem to have a penchant for taking classic influences and creating big melancholic tunes over descending chords. They also love a textural contrast too, solo piano seventies-style one moment, full on band the next. No Plans (for this year) is epic and ambitious with shades of Electric Light Orchestra, Paul McCartney and Blur mixing it up with …….
Manchester band Tragicomics describe their sound as English Americana which is not a bad shout. On Tru Luv the strumming guitars, big harmonies and driving energy have elements of Teenage Fanclub in a mash with ………
Exeter’s The Daylight Orangemake appealing Alt Pop with powerful tenor range vocals, close harmonies and shimmering guitars as showcased on Salt Water. They ……
From St Albans The Mighty Orchid King have delivered an intriguing and inventive piece of trippy post-psych Alt Rock entitled I woke early to dial in to some sacred frequency. It …
Beverly Moonare a band who, on the strenght of Home make dreamy Alt Pop with reverberant guitars intermingling with understated drums and bass while the vocals float agreeably atop the mix, sometimes adding a sweet falsetto to a tenor range voice. They
12omo with Words off my chest, a heartbreaking tale of loss, struggle and resolve.
London-based Welsh artist Nia Wynhas a voice that could cut glass! But in a good way you understand. And she is back with an edgy three-time Soul track called Atlantis. Lyrically she pulls no punches, talking about royalties paying f***-all, family reunions being boring and generally letting us know that she is not satisfied with how things are, hence the need to whisk her lover off to Atlantis! Shades of Amy Winehouse in a mash with Billie Holliday and Erma Franklin while Paloma Faith looks on. Gets better with each listen too.
Brighton just keeps producing cool new music and writer-producer Lucas Gilis the latest to grab my attention with the thoughtful House track Escape. Deploying a range of sounds that snap, crackle and pop …
I know I have reviewed the ever-consistent Amey St Cyr‘s Wild World previously and indeed the video was in the opening edition of Trust The Doc TV and her latest video was in Edition 5. But this is a remix by Zaflon that takes the soulful House original and gives it a beefed up power and fullness that is even better than the original radio edit. So I had to give it a mention.
Producer and keyboardist Coracleis described as from the North of England. His Soundcloud page shows Lancashire, Leeds and Tokyo as being his bases so we cannot tell which side he would be on in the War of the Roses from that information! Anyway he has delivered an appealing piece of instrumental House in the form of Departure that recalls some of those great piano-dominated Dance anthems of the late nineties but with the benefit of up-to-date sounds. Another post-lockdown floor filla if heard in the right places.
BATMstands for Boodas and the Mayne and they are an Electronic music duo from London. Their track Do your thing has the consistent beat of a club choon but mixes some unusual and exotic flavas to create something that nods both to Europe and to Latin America. Definitely one of the most original EDM tracks (if you can call it EDM) this month.
Hailing from Hull Emma King has already had an amazing journey including to Nashville and back. When you hear her dynamic, beautifully edgy vocals on the epic Words I miss the most that will come as no surprise. Imagine Leann Rimes in a jam with Barbara Streisand refereed by Natalie Merchant and you might get somewhere close. This is epic Country-tined power balladry. And amid the lush arrangement Emma’s voice soars and shines, showing off her full registral and dynamic ranges. Uplifting and highly accomplished.
Epic & Cinematic
Debris Discsaka James from Derbyshire is becoming a regular in this blog as well as on my Trust The Doc TV show where, on 7th July, you will be able to see the video for No Fear. It is another epic slice of synth-soaked cinematic Pop ….
It is difficult to know what section to review a trio like Survibers in. Katrina, Francis and Aniff are back with another slick, slightly ethereal downtempo groover called Always which has a foot in the club scene but is too laid back and psychedelic to be EDM. Katrina’s appealing voice floats and flutters effortlessly over swirling synths, consisten beat and fluid sounds. Music you can chill to or get up and groove to. Works either way.
Electronic & Ambient
The always consistent Sad Manis back with another braintwisting journey through electronic avenues on Sleeper. The Oxford-based artist gives us ……
Norwich artist Imo is Imogen Sears and it looks like she is quite diverse style-wise with some Hip Hop and other stuff on her Soundcloud page. But the track that landed in my in-box was the electronic instrumental Ghost Waves (The Nxt Steps) which sees a piano chord-based theme become variously surrounded by synth and ambient sounds, sometimes in a wash of colour, other times quite minimal. It is an engaging and imaginative track that suggests more to come from this side of her musical personality.