Anyone who heard Benjamin Francis Leftwich‘s recent live lounge will know that when he understands that a cover of a song works best when it’s a unique interpretation and he has yet again demonstrated this by producing a version of The Beatles’ Ticket To Ride. Let’s be honest, doing justice to a Beatles classic is a lot more difficult than David Guetta’s Titanium, especially when they are murdered all too often (usually by X Factor contestants), but luckily BFL has succeeded where so many others have failed. If you find yourself already as a fan you will be unsurprised to hear that the defining hook for this song is Leftwich’s silky smooth, lullaby vocals which ensure that every single one of McCartney & Lennon’s lyrics retain their magic. And the best thing of all about this track is it’s completely free.
If I’m completely honest the majority of music that gets sent through to me which is unsolicited is questionable at best, so I get a very pleasant surprise when something arrives in my inbox that actually is quite impressive. That’s exactly the case with this particular song from New Hands. The four piece from Canada are possibly one of the newest bands that I’ve taken the time to write but having listened to This I’ve Heard they’re definitely worth the space. For a start the production of the song is of incredibly good quality, to a point you don’t expect from a band with under 200 fans on Facebook. Aside from this though the music itself will appeal to fans of White Lies with it’s electro-infused, guitar-led backing track and dramatic vocals. In fact, they act as the perfect example of why I take the time to listen to as much of the music I get sent as I can, because amongst all the rough you eventually find a diamond and, quite frankly, regardless of whether a band have PR/Label support or not, if their tracks are as good as this they deserve to be shared.
A couple of weeks ago I posted about Binary, a band whose first song hooked me from the moment I heard it so it seems fitting that I share with you the free download they are currently offering. Considering the song is a cover of Ministry’s Everyday is Halloween it might seem a bit belated but to be fair Halloween isn’t quite over yet. If you’re looking for a suitable spooky track for the occasion then this is the perfect option. The band have taken an electro, synth-filled song and, with the help of the slightly disturbing lyrics of the original, they have created something overwhelmingly dark and so haunting that it’s impossible to escape the simple fact that this should be part of everyone’s Halloween playlist! It may be late for this year but seeing as it’s free you could do a lot worse than download it and, if necessary, store it up for next year. Everyday is Halloween (Ministry Cover) by BINARY
It’s been a while since I’ve shared a free download so We’ll Never Know by Black Cherry provides the perfect opportunity to do so. The London duo have a distinguished and appealing sound which hangs on the distinctive, and surprisingly strong for this type of music, vocals of Megane Quashie. The song is electro rock ‘n’ roll, in that it is ultra cool and, unlike a lot of electro-driven music, it’s not difficult to imagine it transferring to a live setting without losing any of its appeal or production quality. As an introduction (and free offering for that matter) it’s certainly one of the most stylish that I’ve heard. BLACK CHERRY – We’ll Never Know – By Theo PR by Theo PR
It’s been a while since I featured any free downloads so I figure it’s about time I rectified the situation courtesy of Young Knives. The band have made new track Woman, taken from their album Ornaments From The Silver Arcade, available to download via Soundcloud. The song is a funk-infused indie offering with very distinctive accented vocals which, in spite of the sometimes sinister lyrics, sounds unerringly perky. It certainly makes for a fantastic free download. Young Knives – Woman by PIAS Entertainment
It’s about time I featured something a little bit different so Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears by the slightly strangely titled A Winged Victory For The Sullen has arrived in my inbox at just the right time. I’ve never featured a classical song before, but there’s something about this piece that is entrancing. I’m not sure whether it’s the way it builds so delicately, the fact that is a stunning unadulterated piece of music or simply the fact that writing this at 20 to 11 at night has made me bias to something so relaxing; whatever the reason I just cannot stop listening to it and hope that even if, like me, classical is not what you’d usually listen to you’ll give this a chance because it’s worth it for four minutes of absolute, haunting bliss. A Winged Victory For The Sullen – Steep Hills Of Vicodin Tears by erasedtapes
I can’t deny that this is a song that will divide opinion. It’s a brave artist that takes on Nick Drake but that is exactly what AIVA has done with surprising success for her version of Pink Moon. What makes this work is that she has managed to do something many artists fail at by truly making it her own interpretation, turning it into a blissful, ambient track that contrasts the raw, folksy feel of the original. She’s moved away from the simplicity inherent in the fact that this is a song with very few lyrics, and managed to create a piece of music that is as atmospheric as you feel a song entitled Pink Moon should be. I’m well aware that for many Nick Drake is an artist who shouldn’t be covered full stop, but before dismissing this completely try and listen to it as if it were an original track before making judgement. Failing that, you have to admit that for someone who only managed to produce three albums and died over 35 years ago to still be a source of inspiration for an artist is quite special and, in that sense, this serves as a fitting, if belated, tribute. AIVA – Pink Moon (Nick Drake cover) by Dirty Hit
Last month I posted about the optimistic bundle of joy that is Endless Love from My Tiger My Timing so you might be interested to know that they are giving away the //J U S T S A Y J O E\\ mix as a free download. This remix, impressively, doesn’t undermine the overwhleming optimism of the song, it simply gives it an extra dance-centered beat making for a much more intelligent and light-hearted track than the majority of dance music currently on offer in the charts. To get the free download simply Like the band’s Facebook page and, well, click the download button. My Tiger My Timing – Endless Summer – // J U S T S A Y J O E \\ Mix by mytigermytiming
I think it’s safe to say that this song is dangerously addictive. Admittedly everytime I listen to it I end up wondering exactly who George is, but irregardless of that I’m now struggling to get Jack Robert Hardman‘s Sorry To George out of my head. This first taster of what to expect from his forthcoming debut album is available as a free download and is irrepressibly catchy, belying the subdued manner in which it opens. Hardman’s voice is unique, the sort that once you’re used to it is likely to become instantly recognisable and, for me at least, fantastically appealing. JACK ROBERT HARDMAN – SORRY TO GEORGE – by Theo PR by Theo PR
Northampton quartet My First Tooth have announced a headline tour for September and along with the news are giving album track Twilight Theatre away as a free download. This has all the hallmarks of modern folk but with its expressive beat and stirring violin its a lot more enigmatic than your usual brand of pop-driven folk music. The vocals, infused with accent, are surprisingly soft and even when they become more impassioned as the song draws on, there’s still an incredibly dreamy quality to them. My First Tooth – Twilight Theatre by alcopop My First Tooth‘s tour dates are as follows:
6th Sept – LondonOld Queens Head
8th Sept – LeicesterSoundhouse
13th Sept – YorkStereo
14th Sept – SwindonThe Vic
15th Sept – Cardiff10 Feet Tall
16th Sept – WinchesterThe Railway