Artist: Gavin James
Release: Bitter Pill
Label: Good Soldier
Genre: Singer Songwriter
On his way to becoming one of 2016’s international crossover-stories, 23-year-old Gavin James was born in Dublin and inspired by local heroes like Damien Rice and classic, grafting Soul artists such as Sam Cooke, he would play Dublin’s pubs virtually 7 nights a week during college, in a marathon of 3-hour shows. Gavin James’ own material then began to draw an impassioned following: his first ever single won Ireland’s answer to the Mercury (the Choice Prize for ‘Song Of The Year’), stayed on the charts for over 6 months and culminated with 2014’s #1-charting, ‘Live at Whelans’ album. That night, he happened to perform an impulsive cover of The Magnetic Fields’ ‘The Book Of Love’, accelerating Gavin’s word-of-mouth success story (the track has since become a platinum-selling hit around Europe).
Artist: Into It. Over It
Label: Brace Yourself Records
Since the release of Intersections in the fall of 2013, Into It. Over It. have toured significantly, headlining throughout the world and supported a wide variety of bands including Minus The Bear, Saves The Day, American Football, Kevin Devine. Into It. Over It. have also made appearances at numerous festivals including Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, Surf and Skate and many others. This has helped develop a rabid fan base. After taking some time to record with his other projects, Pet Symmetry (Asian Man), Their/They’re/There (Polyvinyl), Evan has returned with a new Into It. Over It. full length fans have been eagerly awaiting.
Artist: Gilles Peterson’s Havana Cultura Band
Release: Havana Club Rumba Sessions
Label: Brownswood Recordings
Produced in collaboration with rum maker Havana Club – creator of the Havana Cultura platform to promote contemporary Cuban culture – this is another episode in a six-year relationship that’s already given vital exposure to different aspects of Cuba’s thriving music culture through the Havana Cultura album series. Peterson worked with the island’s esteemed rumberos to record authoritative versions of the three rhythms as well as discuss what differing meanings and origins are attached to each. The recordings of rumba’s three key styles were handed to a crop of producers working in the orbit of the most interesting corners of club music, allowing for an exciting, global re-interpretation of rumba’s roots.
Artist: Laura J Martin
Release: On The Never Never
Label: Shape Records
Genre: Indie Pop
A chance conversation with Lambchop’s Matt Swanson and Tony Crow proved fruitful and they planted the seeds of an idea in Martin’s head that “recording in Nashville and working with Mark Nevers was a real possibility”. Swanson and Crow join the all-star band for ‘On The Never Never’ alongside Silver Jews’ Brian Kotzur on drums and The Jesus Lizard’s Duane Denison reviving Fame-era Jimmy Johnson on electric guitar. Shot through with wit and humour alongside the sociopolitical themes – one of the characters talks of bleaching toilets and taking trips to Lanzarote – ‘On The Never Never’ skips through waltz timings, bears influences from Scott Walker to the Compass Point Allstars and picks up a guest vocal from Benjamin Zephaniah along the way. With ‘On The Never Never’, Martin has produced a hopeful record, full of joy, beauty and tongue in cheek looks at those in charge.