Katie Kittermaster is a singer songwriter from Kent who has recently been making real waves. This year would have been a very busy one with live dates a plenty in her own right and as a supporting act for some substantiated names in the industry. She toured with a recent interviewee of mine, Lucy Spraggan, and is about to release her new single, a cover of the classic ‘Every Breath You Take’. I was lucky enough to be able to ask her a few questions about what she’s been up to, the single and the sumptuous backdrop of the video to accompany it. Katie’s version of the song comes from a different place to the original and works beautifully.
Somehow it’s already November, and if you’re like me, you’ve left it late to organise your Christmas presents. It’s been a hard year, and even if you can get out to the shops to buy gifts, the general vibe of 2020 has been one of not feeling up to it, motivated, or having the energy to think of what to get.
Thankfully, Jedward have it all under control! The acknowledged saviours of 2020 with their life affirming tweets, positive music, and random good vibes DMs, have come up with not just one, but TWO fantastic ways to spread the Christmas joy this year, at two different price points, so you can choose how much you want to spend (or if you’re like me, you’ve bought both for yourself!).
The Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square, Selfridge’s for shopping, cocktails in Mayfair, the chimes of Big Ben from a boat trip on the Thames, a West End show, a midnight spin on the London Eye, passing out in front of The Holiday after three bottles of Baileys…this is Christmas, Limahl-style. (OK, one of those may not be true.)
International recording artist Zoe Scott has stepped into the world of Bossa Nova with her debut album ‘Shades Of Love’. Produced by Moogie Canazio who is known for his all analogue-recording style, Zoe Scott wanted to take songs that meant something personally to her whilst paying homage to the genre.
Irish producer JK JAM, aka Jamie Keaveney, inspired by how he was feeling during lockdown, has released his latest single, ‘Alone’. The track focuses on the longing for interaction with other humans, with a stress on the physical distance that’s become an every day thing for us all brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, in this very strange year, 2020.
John Grimes of Jedward has tonight released an acoustic cover of ‘Lonely’, originally by Justin Bieber and Benny Blanco. Singing as he plays his acoustic guitar, John faces the camera directly, making the verses and choruses his own. Like Justin Bieber, John and his twin brother Edward, started their music careers as teenagers, and know only too well how it feels to be a household name, trapped, as it were, in a gilded cage, always watched, and not knowing who to turn to, who to trust.
An album of songs by award-winning songwriters – including Nick Heyward, Graham Gouldman, Beth Nielsen Chapman, Mark Nevin and more – that celebrate frontline nurses is released today. Curated by Squeeze co-founder Chris Difford, the Song Club album is inspired by photographs taken by Hannah Grace Deller, a nurse on the front line.
This Friday, the super talented Liv Austen will release a song that I think is very important to her in so many ways because it is born of this love. ‘Why Don’t You’ is a song that tells us we should be as generous to ourselves as we are with the outside world. It is a song that on first hearing sounds like advice but on repeated listening evolves into a mission statement from the singer to herself.
What happens when two genre defying forces of nature come together for a common cause? The answer is that, on 27th October, an incredible collaboration of talent will come to fruition when we see the release of ‘Stand By Me’ on Under The Apple Tree Records. It will be released in aid of something this pandemic can only have made more important. It will raise funds for ‘Help Musicians’, a 99 year old charity, that continues to provide vital support to thousands of music creators during this unprecedented time.
Back in June we introduced you to The Smiling Sessions, a group run by a non profit organisation, who go into community centres for the elderly each week, where they host sing-a-longs for the residents and members. During the lockdown period, The Smiling Sessions certainly didn’t let their mates down, and instead went fully-virtual, with celebrities popping by to lead the sessions online.
Following the extraordinary response to the online streaming event in July, audiences will have another chance to experience ‘Idiot Prayer – Nick Cave Alone at Alexandra Palace’ as it screens in cinemas globally via Trafalgar Releasing from 5 November. The cinematic release of this remarkable and compelling film will be followed by an album on 20 November, available on vinyl, CD and streaming services worldwide.
COVID-19 has seen a lot of innovation and creativity rise up out of necessity, and one such example is The Wheelblocks, a supergroup comprising various members of already amazing heavy rock bands. They’re not simply together for the duration however: The Wheelblocks have decided this is a good thing, and they’re planning to continue playing together once quarantine is over.
Metallica’s first show of 2020 will be part of the all-new Encore Drive-In Nights, on August 29. For one night only Metallica will be performing at Drive-In Theatres Across North America. Four digital downloads of their album, ‘S&M2’ will be included with each ticket purchase. Special guest performance will be by Three Days Grace.
Sergio Myers is a multi-genre artist, who has been making an impact with his emotional hip hop tracks, which closely examine and pull apart his personal life. His catchy and charismatic sound has seen him work with Grammy Award winning producer Arden Altino, as well as MTV, for whom he created the reality TV series, ‘Sorority Life’.
Hailing from the Australian state of Tasmania, pop singer songwriter Nuria writes music about the human experience; her latest single, ‘Touch’, released July 31, took its inspiration from those feelings of longing that have been brought about by the enforced isolation of COVID-19 lockdown. The song was recorded in her caravan home studio, and with further production work by Dave Crowe (aka Resin Moon), based in Alice Springs, The Northern Territory.