NEEDTOBREATHE returns with their eighth studio album, ‘Into The Mystery’, following up on 2020’s ‘Out of Body.’ Covid restrictions have put their tour on hold over the past year, so the band took refuge at an old historic house near Columbia, Tennessee. In the autumn of 2020, they lived, ate, joked, and recorded together for three weeks. The outcome is an electrifying album that captures the band’s South Carolina heritage.
Chris Stapleton is a five time Grammy winner, ten time CMA award and seven time ACM award winner. So to say that a new album from him is a Country music event is an understatement. In fact, such is the respect that this Kentucky born artist is held in across the board, this is quite simply a music event.
I’m a self confessed lover of soundtrack music. The first vinyl I ever bought was the soundtrack from ‘A Fistful of Dollars’ and ‘For A Few Dollars More’ by Ennio Morricone. That led to ‘Great Western Film Themes Collection’, and ‘ The Good, The Bad & The Ugly’, and I was hooked. These days I have over 150 soundtracks on vinyl and a majority of these are Morricone. So, when I got the chance to chat with Sacha Puttnam: classical musician, soundtrack composer and rock keyboard playing son of legendary movie producer Lord David Puttnam, it’s hard to underestimate my excitement. Add to that the fact that he is just about to release a stunning collection of reimagined soundtrack music from some of his father’s greatest films, which unsurprisingly number among some of the greatest films ever, and you may still underestimate.
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.
Considering Nik Kershaw wrote the tracks on ‘Oxymoron’ before Covid-19 irrevocably altered 2020, there’s a great many songs which work very well in describing this year. But that says a lot about Kershaw doesn’t it; there’s a reason Elton John described him as the best songwriter of his generation. He is the consummate songwriter, his songs stand the test of time.
If you’re an Australian of a certain age (ie. me), and you hear the name Andrew Farriss, your ears immediately prick up. The acclaimed singer songwriter has long been synonymous with Aussie rock legends INXS, for whom he was not just a founding member, but also the keyboardist, guitarist and main composer.
Out today via Mute Records, Erasure’s album, ‘The Neon’, could be just as easily be a trip back in time, as much as it’s a contemporary album. It’s all about how you view it. Those of a certain age might be transported to the days of neon fingerless gloves, teased up hair like birds’ nests, and stirrup pants and Doc Martens (brogues or boots – your choice), paired with oversized painter shirts. But then again, it’s very much a contemporary album, touching on very modern themes. A lot of the issues of the 80s are revisited – albeit in slightly different form – today, and albums like ‘The Neon’ are what we needed then, and now, to take our minds off those things.
When you hear the lyrics of ‘More Time’, the first track on Eileen Gogan And The Instructions new album, ‘Under Moving Skies’, you know it’s by an Irish artist. Sure, you might argue, Eileen Gogan’s very name is a bit of a give away, but I think it goes further than that. There’s a certain melancholy to Irish music; you’ll hear it in The Cranberries, The Corrs, U2 – even more recent Irish artists such as Inhaler, Jedward, Columbia Mills, and Robert O’Connor have it. Kodaline has it. And Eileen Gogan has it in spades.