Tag Archive | "Bleeding Heart Recordings"

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Danny Kendall Live @ The Bleeding Hearts Club 07/11/11

Posted on 08 November 2011 by Dorian

The video below is two songs from Danny Kendall (AKA Ben Murray) at the Bleeding Hearts Club in Brighton on Monday 7th November 2011.

The two songs are ‘A Good Man Is Hard To Find’ and ‘We’ve Never Been To Singapore’ (featuring Jen Macro from the band Something Beginning with L).

The excellent evening of music also included sets by Something Beginning with L and Chris T-T.

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The Robot Heart – The Robot Heart

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The Robot Heart – The Robot Heart

Posted on 04 May 2011 by Joe

Brighton’s Bleeding Heart Recordings is carving out a good reputation for releasing some of the UK’s best folk and acoustic music.

While acts such as King James are notable the pick of the bunch for us is The Robot Heart, perhaps the most indie leaning on their roster and one of our Top Ten bands to watch out for in 2011.

We’ve already reviewed their excellent debut EP Dust, which came out last year, and this self-titled debut full-length album features most of the tracks on that.

Among the highlights from the Dust tracks is’ Raining Stones’, which perfectly encapsulates the band’s core sound of choral style vocals, acoustic guitar and piano.

But with just four new tracks (five if you count the thirty second piano intro) it does raise a question mark over how quickly the band can progress.  Granted,  churning out chart hits at lightning pace is not what they are about as the music is more about feeling and atmosphere than strong melodies. Nevertheless it is a slight worry that none of the new tracks have a melody to better or even match  ‘Lost In Stereo’, the standout on both Dust and this album.

That is not to say the new tracks are poor. Far from it. ‘Static’ and ‘Crossing the desert in a taxi’ are among the best on the album, even if they have to rely more on mood and texture than melody.

Another new track the electro-folk ‘The Machine’ is also worth a mention. It gives a hint at where the band can progress for their second album. As Young Marble Giants (the post punk band with a stripped back sound that fizzled out after one album) showed, there is only so far a band can go with subtle instrumentation.

‘The Machine’ suggests that more electronic sounds could be added for future songs, propelling them in a similar direction to Vetiver, Tuung and other indie folk acts with an experimental edge. I hope they go that way. The other way, with commercial production and clichés, leads to a nether world of Coldplay….shudder.

7/10

by Joe Lepper

For more information about The Robot Heart and Bleeding Heart Recordings click here.

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Stick In A Pot  – A Number More Than Nothing At All

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Stick In A Pot – A Number More Than Nothing At All

Posted on 28 February 2011 by Joe

There’s something very warm and cosy about A Number More than Nothing At All, the debut album from Sussex six-piece Stick In A Pot.

This is perhaps unsurprising given the album was recorded in two band members’ homes, including the childhood bedroom of Stick In A Pot’s songwriter Piers Blewett, who returned to the nest recently following a couple of years living abroad.

What started as a ‘scratchy’ set of eight track recordings in the Blewett family home has since been nicely tarted up to reveal a pretty good new act on the every expanding indie folk scene.

With folk (of sorts) scooping top awards at The Brits recently this type of accessible indie folk is certainly of the moment and none more so than in Sussex. Brighton’s Bleeding Heart Recordings for example are making a deserved name for themselves through acts such as The Robot Heart.

Despite being loosely catogorised within this new wave of folk Stick In A Pot are firmly their own act, offering a distinct combination of well crafted indie song writing and earthy folk vocals from Blewett. Think Belle and Sebastian and Donovan rather than Mumford and Sons or Laura Marling.

The range of instruments used sparingly is central to A Number More Than Nothing At All. First track ‘Decider’ is mainly acoustic guitar and vocals, but a little bit of electric guitar pops in, so too does synth here and there over other tracks. Nothing fancy but enough to build the songs nicely and add to the melody.

Banjo, mandolin and glockenspiel are all used here as well. The album’s first two singles ‘Navel Lint’ and ‘Synaethesia’, the more prog rock sounding and ludicrously titled ‘In Underpants’ and ‘Early Morning’ are among a wealth of standouts.

Perhaps its because I’m from Brighton, perhaps its because like Blewett I’ve traveled abroad a bit then returned back to my family home for a spell, but I feel an affinity and closeness with this record that I don’t usually get with similar randomly sent albums by unknown acts.

A lot of bedroom artists like this are plying their trade, playing support slots in pub gigs, sending people like me their self produced CDs, but Stick In a Pot are a clear cut above the rest. Whether they reach the dizzy heights of others they like to compare themselves to such as Iron and Wine is dependent as much on luck and good PR as it is on talent. But from this inviting debut they certainly deserve more attention.

7.5/10

by Joe Lepper

A Number More Than Nothing At All is released on 28 March, 2011.

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King James – King James

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King James – King James

Posted on 04 January 2011 by Joe

As an atheist listening to spiritual music can be a little like gatecrashing a party, sat alone in a corner with only thoughts of science and evolution for company amid the ‘Jesus loves you’ banter.

But despite being labeled as gospel and Christian there are enough question marks over west country based folk duo King James’s take on religion on their self titled debut album to welcome an unbeliever like me.

This line on their Myspace page for example suggests that there is something far darker, far more personal going on within tracks such as ‘The River of Jordan’ and ‘This Christian Life.’ Its chilly words read: “The religious aspect of the songs is confused, unhappy, accusing and frequently misinterpreted.”

The duo, of Johny lamb, who records under the name Thirty Pounds of Bone, and Laurence Collyer who is otherwise known as The Diamond Family Archive, add that they have come together as King James to find “a strange solace in exploring what might be described as disproportionately religious upbringings.” This raises further questions and nicely leaves the listener to put their own take on the subject matter.

King James

Another reason I’ve warmed to this album is the music itself. Quite simply it’s a thing of beauty; likeable and lo-fi in a Bon Iver way, full of subtle instrumentation and haunting choral arrangements.

The album gets better as it goes on, with later tracks such as ‘Sonny Said’ and ‘The River of Jordan’ among many standouts as acoustic guitar comes more to the fore and the arrangement works far better with the King James’s choral style.

If there are criticisms to be made it is that some of the opening tracks, like ‘A Pessimist’s Hymnal’ can sound a little dreary on first take. I took to them after a few listens, but they lack the immediate hit of the second half of the album. On the earlier tracks it feels a little too much like a live show that takes time to get into its stride.

Also, while the lo-fi production does suit much of the album the choral aspect in places deserves a bigger sound. I’m reminded of the gospel surf of ‘River Song’ from Dennis Wilson’s 1977 album Pacific Ocean Blue and found myself hankering after Wilson’s lush arrangements too many times.

As a debut this is a beautiful, intriguing album that promises much more to come from another excellent new act on what is becoming an increasingly interesting UK folk scene.

7.5/10

by Joe Lepper

King James is released by Bleeding Heart Recordings on January 24 on vinyl and as as digital download. More information here.

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