Long ago, when David Brookings was an 11 year old in Richmond, VA making his live performance debut singing the first song he ever wrote, he probably never imagined that he’d be releasing a full length album in honour of the event called ‘Mania at the Talent Show’, it’s ironic that the first song he wrote was called ‘All I’ll Ever Want’. Now years later he’s releasing two preview tracks for the record.
At just 22, Chelsea Collins is a name that you will almost certainly start to hear more of. Having racked up over 25 million streams with the brilliant ‘Used to be (L O.V.E.)’ and catching the eye and ear with the poignant ‘O7 Britney’, she’s back with three new songs that will almost certainly be the centrepiece of her EP which should hopefully drop before the end of the year. I really think that this will be lift off for this outstanding artist.
A requiem in its literal sense would suggest a solemn chant for the repose of the dead but this song, for me, is more about the laying bare of a soul and the requiem for things passed and laid to rest rather than bodies. A song of new beginnings and putting things into perspective. St. Augustine teaches us that the ultimate purpose of education is turning towards God and that the way to God was to look into oneself. Introspection is the beginning of a journey towards God and there is reference to this and a need to have been more in touch with those teachings than the thoughts and reactions of the angry.
Pete Gardiner has been busy during lockdown; he spent countless Fridays hosting ‘A Song & A Drink with Pete Gardiner’ where he hosted online gigs singing, of course, his brilliant original music and then an increasingly diverse selection of covers. The effect of these gigs was twofold in that it enabled Pete to hone his rapport with his original music and there was a feeling that he went through a process of falling back in love with his entire catalogue. However, the second effect was that it pushed Pete into songs that he maybe would never have considered attempting before these sessions. It was a joy to watch as this incredibly personable performer showcased his own music alongside classics which straddled virtually every genre. It was a joy to watch as his audience started to push for the originals. As approbation for the originals increased, Pete delivered with more and more confidence. This is a singer whose lyricism borders on modern social poetry and comfortably sits with the music of his idols Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen and to see that realisation dawn on the attentive audience was personally just proof of what I have written many times before. Pete Gardiner is a songwriter of such outstanding ability that we should take notice of, support and push as much as we can.
At EP, we have long been admirers of the singer-songwriter Katie Kittermaster who has just signed a global publishing deal with BMG. Her new single ‘Out Of Love’ was released on June 18. Katie often uses TikTok to engage with her fans and released a teaser of the single on the platform, gaining more than 500,000 views and 98,000 likes. In bringing in her fans to her songwriting sessions, Katie accumulated a total of 2 million views and over 700,000 likes. It’s been inspiring to watch Katie continue to write and engage with new and old fans using social media but in September she will play a sold out headline gig in London and in July and August play at Chris Evans’ Carfest North and South, sharing the bill with stars like Rag ‘n Bone Man, Tom Grennan, James Blunt, Texas, Nile Rodgers & Chic, McFly, and James Bay amongst a host of others. If you can’t get tickets to these events, then Katie will be playing the superb Garage in London in February.
RoseeLu is back with a new song, hot on the heels of ‘F*** With My Feelings’, and she’s singing about that relationship where the act of falling madly in love comes with the cost of losing your very identity, your very soul even. ‘Got Me Feeling Like This’ is almost the resolution to the questions asked in her last songs and finds our Danish songstress realising that to truly get back to who you are there has to be a farewell, and that although this is tough, it has to be final. This moment of realisation is beautifully realised in what feels to me like the final part of a relationship trilogy.
Riva Taylor, an outstanding artist we chatted with at the beginning of lockdown when she released ‘This Woman’s Heart.1’, is back with the second part of the release. The first part garnered praise from Sir Elton John and Pete Tong on its release and was created as an album which was a statement of confusion, heartbreak and loss. ‘This Woman’s Heart.2’ according to the artist “makes peace with a past and looks towards a bright future”. This new album includes ‘If I Could Ever Stop loving You’ which has found success on BBC Radio 1, ‘Magic’ which has been produced by Celeste producer Jakwob and ‘Woman’, my personal favourite, which is accompanied by a quite stunning video. I was lucky enough to chat with Riva about the album, released in May.
It’s hard to believe that this band, Texas, are actually best known in France. They seem to have been so much part of the tapestry of UK music since ‘I Don’t Want a Lover’ dropped in 1989 on the brilliant debut ‘Southside’. Now, 33 years later they have released an album which is quite literally genre defying. It has songs that quite simply span every kind of music.
It really doesn’t feel like five years since 2016’s reissued debut album ‘Sirens’ was being described as “a debut of remarkable depth” by none other than The New York Times. The album was originally self released in 2014, but the indie label reissue saw appearances from Sara Bareilles and Gotye and really cemented Ben Abraham as a songwriter of note. He co wrote Kesha’s RIAA certified double platinum Grammy award winning smash hit ‘Praying’ amongst a host of other songs. However, that catalyst moment of his life also accompanied a tumultuous, faith sapping part of his life as he went through a serious break up. Ben responded to these trying, difficult times as only a songwriter can and used this time as inspiration for a selection of songs that speak to the undeniable possibility of rebirth after all the loss and pain.