Saint Saviour - Suukei EP Review

This post was originally written for Eclectically Challenged

The hugely gifted and totally underestimated lady who has been described previously as having “incredible precision” in her vocal talents is set to release her new EP Suukei tomorrow (3rd October).

Saint Saviour is the wondrous silky smooth, soul warming, heart tickling vocal of Becky Jones. The lady behind SS was formally linked to (now laid to rest) electro outfit the RGBs and most recently held harmonies with Groove Armada (post ‘Shaking That Ass). Lending her pitch perfect presence to their grammy-nominated 2011 album Black Light.

Now out on her own, she’s created her second EP Suukei which boasts four glimmeringly gorgeous tracks, each so fantastically unique in their content. Crafted in a golden thread, so tightly spun further enforcing her ability to bring precision in spades. Her journey from Anatomy EP has clearly been a vast one of brilliance. She seems some what more refined. A bit like a fine wine.

Red Sun dazzles as the opener. With a heavily middle eastern inspired sound to it, it eases you in quite peacefully. Until we’re awoken by the bright beaming vocal. This track is worlds apart from previous works including Women Scorned.

Stand out track Here In Me is a twisty turny type song, mellow and delightful. With a masterpiece of a video to boot. Her wistful voice whispers right into the tiniest, darkest part of your soul, sending tingles up and down the spine. Just splendid.

Some Things Change is hauntingly ethereal, and thought provoking. On the first listen, I found myself contemplating and wondering into my hear and now, my past and future still yet to come. Now that’s a real skill to encompass so effortlessly into a piece of music.

Covers are a challenge, some fall at the first hurdle. When I hear the Live Lounge on Radio 1 I often cringe and squirm at the sound of those limping to the finish line. We all know how amazingly well Ellie Goulding covered Your Song and did wonders for John Lewis and their romantic ad campaign. And we all know Skinny Love for Birdy’s cover, although Bon Iver’s original is still stands as one of my all time favourites. SS has put her pitch perfect and creative spin on Kate Bush’s Army Dreamers. Due to my own ignorance I wasn’t aware of this track. Becky has provided a non-intrusive, masterful rendition of a song that could and possibly should be hers.

MS MR - Ash Tree Lane

This post was originally written for Eclectically Challenged.

I’ve found Florence Welch with an American twang. It’s true I’ve found a new Flo, residing in New York city. I would like to overwhelm you with information on MS MR but unfortunately little in known about this coupling. Possibly because they are still fairly young fry in this ocean we call the music industry. Or, the business-savvy side of me screams “PR stunt”.

Either way they’ve proven that a need for visual identity stems from the wealth of the greedy and it’s not altogether necessary when you have vocals as delightfully delicious as the Ms in this partnership. In the grandiose Ash Tree Lane we are struck almost instantly by female, yet not overly feminine vocal. Like a witches cauldron, there is something persistently bubbling under the surface. The drop comes with frantic piano keys built up with incredible intensity, this teamed with the elongated ooing gives us something almost cinematic.

Of course the video more than emphasises this. We are greeted with old cinema reels, Alice wondering into that mysterious land, an unknown which is indicative of the American Dream, highlighted through other film clips. A video with poignancy. An artist trying to do much more than talk about bringing swagger back. For this reason alone I’m in.

Ghost Eye - Phantom Mountain

This post was originally written for Eclectically Challenged

The ultimate key to an artist’s initial success, I feel is mystique. A guise which is perfectly planted so that intrigue is built and engulfs them like a veil when eventually it comes to a thirst quenching head. When second, third and (hopefully) more releases come do we then turn our backs because the anticipation is no more?

This next band are all about the mystery with Myspace profile pictures of characterless female body parts and videos with moody enigmatic types giving us all but a glimpse of possible band members. They are all either hideously unattractive or trying to say “open your ears and go shut you eyes”.

Ghost Eyes deliver the type of warm, middle eastern hip hop that requires a certain amount of eye closure, stimulating concentration but not enough to stop you from moving, typing, talking or what- have-you. In parts they have a Massive Attack element to their style with the dark cultural fusion of hip hop beats, haunting Asian chimes and a sitar guitar thrown in for good measure. Mix that all together with some kids chanting or possibly singing and you get debut single Phantom Mountain. With vocals similar to that of Andrew Wyatt of Miike Snow, there’s a total range of elements to this track which need a great deal of attention from the ears. In form Ghost Eyes frolic in a rare and precise detail which is often hard to emulate