Artist No. 4: Liv/ Tom & Liv โ€” Taking a tour of my music collection

I first discovered Liv’s music when we were both winners in Ally Rhodes’ Cover Contest for her album ‘Conversations With A Ghost’. Even before the winners were announced, I’d listened to her entry (above) and knew that it was something special. When Ally pointed out that she had some free music on Bandcamp I went straight off to take a listen (who am I to say no to some free downloads?) so I ended up downloading her ‘Sway Me To Sleep‘ EP, and through that Tom & Liv’s ‘Reveries‘. Since then, I’ve also downloaded their ‘Awake in the Night‘ EP. Seriously, I have never heard anything so beautiful in my life. From the first listen I was hooked, even to the point where when I had a meagre 256MB of space on my (very old) music player to take with me to India, I ensured that every single one of their songs that I owned featured on it. That ended up being eleven out of forty-nine songs: almost a quarter. Other artists had to cope with a couple of songs each, a few more if they were lucky, just so that I could squeeze them all in! (And I’m telling you, there was not one moment on that trip when I regretted that decision, and bear in mind I was stuck with these same forty-nine songs for a whole month…)

So, about their music (feel free to listen while you read ^^ )… well, Ally described Liv’s contest entry as ‘floating in a heavenly cloud of harmonies’ and I’m certainly not going to disagree, but this description can be used far more widely than just that one video; it pretty much applies to anything she has a part in! I’d say that this is a major contributor to the calm and relaxing feel which is always present in the music that her and Tom create, as well as the soft and gentle ambience their songs exhibit.

Their songwriting is also remarkable. Each and every song is a piece of art in itself, flawlessly crafted both lyrically and melodically. I like the fact that the meanings of the songs are not necessarily immediately obvious, perhaps quite abstract in a way, and it just adds to your enjoyment because throughout each listen you discover more twists or interpretations of the lyrics that you hadn’t considered before.

My personal favourite track, if I had to choose just one, would be ‘I’m Your Company’ from Tom & Liv’s ‘Reveries’ EP. The instrumentation in this one is simply divine as well as being it’s a perfect eat-your-heart-out harmony filled track, and who can argue with that? I also love the mix of the male and female voices, I always think it adds another dimension when there’s more than one voice featuring.

Now this is where I’m very grateful for Ally Rhodes’ competitions, and ones like it, because with relatively few subscribers as far as YouTube music is concerned, it is quite fathomable that I would never have discovered Liv otherwise, and I think that is one of the great things about YouTube. I’m also very excited that we are working on a collaboration at the moment; I’m honoured to have her voice grace my channel!

So basically, what I’m trying to tell you, is that you should go download her music, watch herย YouTube videos and just generally stalk her online presence (aka like/follow her on Facebook and Soundcloud). Also, do the same for their collaborated music, on Bandcamp and Facebook.

Finally, here are a few more videos in case by some miracle you haven’t already been convinced. (And because I just couldn’t decide which ones to feature…)

Artist No. 3: Folk On โ€” Taking a tour of my music collection

This week, I’m going to introduce you to the weird and wonderful world of Folk On. As you can probably tell from the name they are a folk band but, even more exciting than that, they are a comedy folk band! The group consists of Derek Tinkleberry (vocals), Donald Cornfoot (harmonica/ mandolin/ guitar) and Edmund Sidebottam (guitar).

I have had the pleasure of seeing them live a few times at Greenbelt Festival and I have to say, their performances and songs are nothing short of genius! They mix folk music and comedy in a brilliant, unique way and the interaction between the members of the group is great. The great thing about seeing them live is that each time they do a song, they make it slightly different so it’s always equally entertaining; they never fail to raise a laugh. This year at Greenbelt they even did a Coldplay ending to one of their songs- ‘Dad, I’m in love with a Morris Dancer’!

My favourite songs are ‘Ernie the Slug’ and ‘Alright’, but any one you can get your hands (ears) on is worth a listen. You can find them on Facebook and Twitter, as well as on their own website. People of the Internet, embrace the folk! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Artist No. 2: Natalie Holmes โ€” Taking a tour of my music collection

Natalie Holmes I stumbled across a few years ago, and she’s come on leaps and bounds since then. My collection is graced with her first EP, ‘The Simplest Things’ and is soon to be joined by her second one ‘Child’ (it’s so new that currently it’s only available on iTunes, so I’m waiting for the physical copies to be available on her Bandcamp page).

Her songwriting is very real and honest, and I think the real beauty in her work comes from its simplicity. The sound on ‘The Simplest Things’ is very much acoustic, with guitar and piano forming the majority of the accompaniments. The lead vocals are stunning; she negociates her range impressively with a lovely, gentle tone as she reaches the highest notes. Each song is complimented well by the backing vocals, my favourite moments being in ‘Backwards’ during the final choruses.

Of course, I can’t introduce Natalie without mentioning her YouTube channel. She’s clocked up over 1,000,000 views and it’s not hard to see why. Both her covers and originals are always a pleasure to listen to, and her very genuine personality shines through in her videos. I love the fact that she covers a lot of other YouTube artists too, and doesn’t just pick a song because of its popularity at the time.

Artist No. 1: Mree — Taking a tour of my music collection

Lying in bed, ill after catching something rather nasty during my time in India, I was dozing whilst listening to my rather eclectic music collection. It dawned on me how many great artists there are I’ve managed to stumble across that some of you may not have had the chance to find yet! This is me giving you that opportunity.

P.S. You can thank me later ๐Ÿ˜‰

So without further ado, here’s the first artist I will introduce to you: the wonderful Mree.

Mree (aka. Marie Hsiao) has to be one of the most talented musicians on YouTube. She records and produces her own music and her videos can be described as no less than works of art. Her debut album ‘Grow’ currently resides in my music collection, soon to be joined by her second album ‘Winterwell’ released on the sixth of this month which I can’t wait to get my hands on!

Her music is unique, often described as experimental folk, but I’m not big on genres so to me that doesn’t mean a whole lot! What draws me to her music, is not any of the labels that have been assigned to her, but the absolute beauty of her work. Each song is created, crafted and formed flawlessly, the vocals are absolutely stunning and the atmosphere of each song is simply immersive; you can lose yourself in her music for hours at a time.

She plays many of the instruments herself and the arrangements that she creates never disappoint. Something I have a definite soft spot for in any music is harmonies, and Mree definitely doesn’t let me down there. The vocal lines, counter melodies, harmonies and backing vocals fit so well together and send literal tingles down your spine!

Her YouTube channel I would describe as quality over quantity, and there is not a single video on there which is not worth a watch, so if you’ve got some spare time go check it out ๐Ÿ™‚