I often wonder over my brekkie (thanks Paul Molloy I use this all the time now) – is it easier or harder being a solo singer/songwriter? I guess it has its benefits:
No spoilt brat singer having a tantrum, no royalties to split, no arguments over what is and what isn’t going on the set list. But with that you’ve got to shoulder everything yourself – the gigs, interviews, what style to take next, make big decisions and ultimately no one else to blame if it all goes wrong.
But surely the greatest thing is rocking up somewhere with your acoustic, sitting down and singing a few songs that you’ve written, you can connect immediately with your audience and your normally held in high esteem by fans and critics a like – Guthrie, Dylan, Young, Weller, Gallagher the list goes on and on – some were in bands and some not.
So I decided to bring to your attention a collection of Men Singer Songwriters that are doing their best to be heard at the moment and leave it up to you to decide who you like – Hopefully all of them. And don’t worry I will follow this up with Ladies Singer Songwriters because that is a very rich area as well at present.
So what you got for me I hear you ask? Well lets kick things off with Aberdeens finest and someone who has the best PR – His Dad and 7 other siblings !! (gets dark quick up there):
Michael Forsyth @mforsythmusic
Coming on like a Scottish Richard Ashcroft or Neil Diamond – Michael has already released his first album Out here in the Dark and its a great mix of Soulful tunes with big orchestral pieces. The title track is BondThemeEsque if that’s a genre – Songs like Freedom and Run show a maturity and talent in song writing that should see him get to a bigger audience. His new song is Escape The World and shows progression further in his song writing abilities – its really catchy and uplifting. Be warned if you don’t listen he will send his Dad and Family round to yours (I’m hoping that’s a joke).
Check him out here:
Next up we go across the Pond to see what the good old US of A have for us – well luckily they have someone with two first names and not a split personality I’m guessing:
Steven Mark @stevenmarkmusic has been releasing songs and albums since 2004 but its only recently I’ve been introduced to him and was suitably impressed to listen to a lot of his back catalogue.
He’s got the hall marks of a lot the US indie greats – Elliott Smith, Ben Folds but also throws in a healthy mix of REM, Tom Petty and Gene Clark from The Byrds. I really like his song Our Time to Shine – its jingly jangly with great harmonies – I guess Steven and Mark are on that. (sorry MH isnt a laughing matter) Racing Grey is a really good song also and more rocky then others – he also has a song called Paris Hilton Generation which needs to be heard – its musically and lyrically great and for all of us annoyed by those waste of space/what do they actually do for a living people, Steven has written the song for us. Great work.
He’s also got a new EP coming out called The Long Goodbye and I will share more on this with you shortly. Check out my new American Cousin.
So back on these crazy shores and a quick trip up the M40 for me and pay a visit to someone I have been following for years and not just because we support the same football team and moan about them to each other often.
Jay Tennant is another Indie legend in the making – he’s made two great albums already – Far From the Field and Escape Routes – both albums are full of those kind of indie rock anthems that we all like – there’s cinematic feel to a lot of Jay’s work which makes sense if you follow him on twitter @jaytennant as his love of films is there for all to see. His sound also reminds me at times like the last Smiths album. High praise I know but its true. I also thinks he likes a concept album as Far from the Field is certainly about War and rekindles The Jam Setting Sons Era. The Longest Day is pure Starsailor and a real belter. The Sniper is a groove that many bands are looking for at the minute and is similar to Kasabian Shoot The Runner. Sirens from Please give Jay a listen just to cheer him up as the football season starts again soon and lets be honest that’s unlikley to make things better.
Finally for this piece and something I’m getting used to nowadays is a new talent from the North East of England – it must be in the Brown Ale as almost daily I hear something from that area of the country that luckily doesn’t sound like Jimmy Nail (Note I really like Aint No Doubt).
Ricky Clark @rickyclarkmusic
So knicking something I said on #dphappyhour recently to describe Ricky as thus – Elvis Costello meets Dr Feelgood in an alley and beats up Kelly Jones with the help of Paul Weller. I think this describes him pretty well. His recently released Album The Right Light has been gathering a lot of interest via word of mouth and I’ve been playing it a lot – the lead track Take Shelter is a modern soul classic with a great sound and backing vocals (and some Western thrown in). A little bit of Love for me is pure Dr Feelgood (ask your parents kids) and Keep a Hold, Tighten On is Elvis C at his late 70’s best. Another seriously talented musician with a great voice that echoes all those icons I have mentioned above. Now that Sam Fender has put the spotlight on the North East, I can see Ricky breaking through and why not.
Go on give him a spin as well.
So there you have it – 4 of the best singer/songwriters I’ve heard recently – it doesn’t stop there – Joe Astley is going to be a super star and Milo Gore is writing brutally honest songs about his life experience that surely will see him breakthrough – the list is getting longer by the day.
To help you with all of this I have also created a Playlist on Spotify with a selection of songs from the artists mentioned – its a great way to be introduced to them.
Next up – All the Single Ladies – Hit me up – But you should of put a Ring on it coz I’m taken.