Into the new year

Wishing you all happy holidays here from the Offbeat hub, hope you are having a great time! Not happy with your presents? Needing some light in those dark winter days? Some incentive for the new year to come? I might just have the cure for you! At the very end of the old and well-worn year, some fine new releases for you that you might have overlooked in all the hullabaloo. So there we go, some quick recommendations this evening…into the new year.

Austin & Elliott

Into the new year

Lisa Austin and Chris Elliott came across this wee blog via the wonderful Molly Pinto Madigan who they supported many times. Lisa and Chris are based in Western Massachusetts, and provide you with all the acoustic dark and original  folk you might ever ask for. Not only fine on the ear with brilliant harmonies, Austin & Elliott deliver food for thought in their poetic, sometimes satirical lyrics as well.

“Cradle And Crow” is their third album and sports their creators’ manyfold musical influences and creative talent in one well of listening pleasure.



Into the new year

The wondrous music of 1921 is made by David Åhlen and Andreas Eklöf from Gothenburg, Sweden, to be found on the label Compuntio. Here we have an exceptional voice singing captivating melodies over an electronic-organic soundscape – it might fit into the genre chamber music if you so wish. As 1921, David and Andreas have just released “In My Veins” of which you can hear and see an appetiser below.

Rosemary & Garlic

Into the new year
Photo by Melissa Scharroo, Capribee

January 12th will see the release of the long-awaited self-titled debut album by Rosemary & Garlic on Nettwerk, following their EP “The Kingfisher”. Rosemary & Garlic are Anne van den Hoogen and Dolf Smolenaers from the Netherlands whose music is rooted in the folk and singer-songwriting tradition. However, the music transcends the genre and includes electronica, electric guitars and vintage embellishments. Above all hovers Anne‘s voice singing about emotions in methaphors from the natural world as practised in romanticism. If you need any more encouragement to lend Rosemary & Garlic an ear – Laura Marling included them in their favourites!


Brigid Mae Power

Into the new year
Tompkins Square

Keep your eyes open for Brigid Mae Power’s new album “The Two Worlds” to be released on February 9th, 2018 on Tompkins Square. The first single off it can already be savoured now: “Don’t shut me up politely”. Brigid says about her new album that it contains songs about her grandmother, songs about lost friendships, songs about balancing being settled and also being up in the clouds, songs about cutting out the crap and letting go of things that don’t serve you.

She recalls not being able to write about the past in a free environment and could only do so once she was back in Ireland, an environment she often experiences as repressive. Brigid Mae Power recorded the album in an analogue studio for a direct, live sound. “The Two Worlds” was produced by Peter Broderick, a collaboration that has already brought us Brigid’s riveting debut album.

New Apostles

Into the new year
New Apostles new album

After a 17 year hiatus, Nottingham’s New Apostles have started releasing their delicious mix of post-punk, krautrock and electronica again in 2015. Since then we have been enjoying the albums “West Bank”, “Apparatchiks” plus several EPs and “Recurring Dream” via Sunshine Beheaded. Their creativity flows unabated: Early December saw the release of New Apostles latest: “Antiquarian Medical Texts” with cover art to embellish the beautiful title perfectly. The sheer quantity and variety and musical and lyrical depth of songs on the album, makes for a lasting journey of discovery which I am still on. Join me!

Christopher Pellnat

Into the new year
Christopher Pellnat

Christopher Pellnat is a singer-songwriter from Hudson, New York. He also works as guitarist for The Warp/The Weft. Christopher’s solo album “Honey Venom Wings” is a tender, surprising, quirky journey into life at its fullest, covering the big questions of life, love and sometimes just a good old silly laugh. Adding to some of the songs of the album are Pete Toigo on upright bass and Molly Dechenne on violin. Enjoy!

Laucan and more

Summertime = no releases time? Ha, not really. Of course I will let you participate generously in the wealth of music to pick from and hope you will find something you will like or even love. First up:


It was only in March that London musician Laucan (Laurence Alpin) released his first EP “Up Tomorrow”. Hey presto, here is his first album via Sunday Best: “Frames Per Second”. A dreamy, magical album with loads to discover (the strings sections are just beautiful). A debut album that will certainly in my collection last me a lifetime. Musically, Laucan is supported by Andrew Phillips – lyrically it is partly about the control of our own thoughts, releasing our outlooks from the prison we created for them.

Kerosene Stars

From there to something a bit more upbeat: Kerosene Stars from Chicago are Scott Schaafsma, Andy Seagram, Todd Honeyville, Jim Adair and Tom Sorich.  They are not afraid to play a catchy melody and they do it oh so well! Their latest releases are the EPs “Burn The Evidence” and “a million little trees” and out just now “The Lost EP”. Timeless, well-made gems!

Laucan and more

James Elkington

Staying in Chicago, for years now the home of James Elkington. You could not have missed James Elkington playing somewhere, surely? And you could not have missed his solo release? Just in case. Let me keep it short (a difficult feat in the case of information about Jim Elk). Steve Gunn calls him the best guitar player around and an incredibly humble person. Who would argue with Steve? Anyhow, that combination of skill and humbleness might just explain why James Elkington has only now released his first solo album after years of supporting other artists and bands (the list is endless: Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, Steve Gunn, Brokeback, Eleventh Dream Day, Joan Shelley, Tara Jane O’Neil, Michael Chapman…). Initially he was frontman of a band called The Zincs but felt no need to be at the front or on the songwriting side for a long time. Thankfully he changed his mind and here we have his technically (he also plays drums, bass, piano…) wonderful and atmospherically wondrous album “Wintres Woma” (Paradise Of Bachelors)



Laucan and more
James Elkington by Timothy Harris

Moon Goose

Cherryshoes from Hay on Wye have us enthralled with their music. Wonderful news so that Cherryshoes now have a sister project: Moon Goose. Wait for it, I cannot keep their own description from you: “Moon goose has crawled out of the primal swamp and taken a good look around. The resulting bird has flapped madly around a barn with a load of guitars strapped to one wing and a synthesizer on the other, while it flies repeatedly into some drums. Made out of bits of comet and whalebone, the music that people are already calling ‘epic’ and ‘unlistenable’ throws a jagged beam of light in the growing darkness, to reveal some people using a barn as a giant amplifier. Duchamp put a toilet in an art gallery. Moon goose put music in a bag and shook it around until it was in bits, poured the bits out, and set fire to them. It’s the sound of a dragon colliding with an asteroid. If you enjoy things like gneiss, rare cheese, and strange ideas followed through to an illogical conclusion, you’ll love Moon goose.”

Laucan and more

There you have it – and you know what? That description fits and the music is absolutely hypnotising! Their debut EP Space Probe Shut Down is on its way. Here’s the first single: The mysterious coffins of Arthur’s Seat.

Prana Crafter

I leave you today with intriguing music from the Washington woods: Prana Crafter. His latest album “MindStreamBlessing” is the musical impersonation of the title. For my favourite track from it – Agatha’s gate – there is now a video available. Indulge here:

Red Eye, XAD, Twilight Fields

On this dreary Sunday (let’s not complain – we had an outrageously hot September here so far), it is time to dig into the blog again. I have some fine new three releases for you, covering a wide spectrum of the often unfairly put-into-one-box indie music genre. Red Eye, XAD, Twilight Fields.

Let’s get going:

Red Eye

Red Eye, XAD, Twilight Fields
Jose Parazon

Just out is a new sigle by Red Eye called “Moroccan fruit”. Red Eye are of the nowadays rare breed of musicians implying that every song should carry a message. What greater compliment could you receive than Billy Bragg himself commenting that Red Eye are a “powerful response to the “Is Protest Music Dead?” question?

Red Eye consists mainly of Trevor Perfect who writes the music and the lyrics and features guest vocalists.

“Moroccan Fruit” could not be any more up-to-date, dealing with the plight of refugees escaping from horrendous situations to Europe. The song does not scream, it does not accuses…it raises questions and asks for understanding and empathy in a tender way, sparsely arranged.


Trevor Perfect was inspired by thinking about what Nina Simone would sing about in the present. Then he saw the photo of Jose Palazon of the migrants’ rights group Pro De In. The photo shows Moroccan immigrants in Melilla, Spain, hanging onto a fence overlooking a golf course at a European border. Seeing the stark similarity with “Strange Fruit” lyrics, “Black bodies swinging from poplar trees”, and the Moroccans hanging from the border fence, the song was born.

“Moroccan Fruit” by Red Eye is available here.

Thanks to Aled from Beast PR UK.


Red Eye, XAD, Twilight Fields

XAD are a grunge rock band based in Haarlem, Netherlands. They have existed in three reincarnations since 2009. The present line-up of Alessandro – Bass, Amar – Druns, Ted – Guitar, Vocals and Kimmo, Production, have just released their third EP, A Distorted World History, which has a dark, raw, rocky, live performance feel to it.

The song titles and lyrics however reveal a deeper meaning than the simple rocking it out behind the band. The tracklist of the EP reads as follows:

You Believe (A Distorted World History), Enoch, Firedragon, Spaceship, Spanish Fly

The idea behind the EP is nicely portrayed on the back cover of the EP:

Red Eye, XAD, Twilight Fields

Of course there are some sounds for you to sample as well – you can find the new XAD songs on Spotify or via the band’s webpage. If you want to see something, there is live performance here of the song “Enoch”.

Twilight Fields

Red Eye, XAD, Twilight Fields

Twilight Fields hail from North Bay, Canada. They have just released “Further Up, Further In!”, their debut full-length album. So, who’s behind it? Allister Thompson, heading the band, has been a folk singer, but also a member of 70s-style glam band Crash Kelly. Under the name The Gateless Gate Allister has done Krautrock and as Khan Tengri a psych album. So you see, there are numerous influences or a huge bandwidth of musical taste as well as many years of experience as a musician of all kind of styles. Mind you, the different styles do touch at the edges and they certainly do for Twilight Fields.

In 2009, Allister did a progressive rock album called Shadowlands. Then we also have Teri-Lynn Janveau who is a classically trained pianist, who also composed and played with The Gateless Gate. Last but not least, veteran Canadian drummer Tim Timleck joined Twilight Fields.

Sound and atmosphere of this records would span a lot of influences, accordingly and lovers of psych and folk, of progressive rock and shoegaze will find something appealing in the album “Further Up, Further In!”

Thematically the record deals with serious issues. To quote Twilight Fields: This music asks big questions about life and loss; it’s serious music for serious-minded people.

You can find Twilight Fields’ releases on Bandcamp as well as older songs as well. Here are some soundbites for you:

Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter – listen now!

As you will notice, this blog features interviews with the well-known artists of the music scene (well-known to you, dear reader, if your musical interest lead you to this page) as, shall we say, a by-product of my radio shows. Initially this blog was meant to work the other way round though: New bands, mostly unsigned, that featured in my radio shows, were to be given more deserved exposure here. Which brings us to the wonderful (in no particular order) Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter – listen now!


Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter - listen now!

Vibrissae are – if you want to put a label on their music – a shoegaze electronic crossover trio and hail from Portland, Oregon, one of the great music cities in the U.S.

However: Vocalist Imber Lingard is originally from Australia, Emma Bell comes from Malaysia and only Aaron Bell is from the U.S. Music unites them and we listeners benefit greatly from the result.

Vibrissae (don’t look it up – I did it for you already….it means “whiskers”) released their debut album “Somewhere Away” on Italian (there’s another continent in the equation) label Vipchoyo Sound Factory.

Vibrissae’s songs convince with a beautiful, hypnotising build-up. Check it out here:


Back to Europe with the delightful Audiodeluxe from Glasgow, Scotland. Audiodeluxe have been (also successfully) creating and releasing music since the late 90s. Growing up, starting families etc. and generally lives changing, Sammy McHugh (on vocals) and Dez Bone (all other sounds) decided to go for a wider audience via media they like (aw, chucks, “blush”).

Audiodeluxe call their music melancholic indie, so they are in the right spot here on this blog. So far they have released three EPs, number three just recently. The EPs are called just that: EP1, EP2 and EP3.

Audiodeluxe master a whole variety of sounds such as shoegazey songs, electronica and indiepop as well as trip-hop and it all gels superbly. All three EPs deserve your attentive ear and will give you fabulous frameworks for every conceivable mood you’d find yourself in without ever losing the unique sound.

Find them here. For soundbites from their current EP3, here you go:

I’d also like to show this gorgeous video to their intoxicating “Treasure”:

Prana Crafter

Vibrissae, Audiodeluxe, Prana Crafter - listen now!

I have been enjoying the music of guitar and songwriting genius Will Sol from Washington, U.S. for a while now and there is no more excuse to withhold the songs from you, me lovely blog readers! Those acquainted with my radio shows will already know Prana Crafter, Will Sol’s musician’s moniker.

In Prana Crafter’s own words his music is: Mystic Psych, Psychedelic Folk, Inner Space Rock, from the Woodlands of Washington.

Yep, and that’s exactly what it is. Music to rock to, music to dream to, music to lose yourself in. Prana Crafter manages to include seemingly contradictory feelings in his music and make them harmonise and thus mirrors the different sides in every human being, in everything really. Musically that is reflected by playing folksy songs alongside real rockers, both in the psych realm.

His works include: Rupture of Planes (a gentler folk-tinged album), Opal Crown Transmission (dreamy psych-rock at its best on this EP) and his two latest works Creek Born Mind and Old Growth Fortress.

All Prana Crafter’s music is available here. I would like you to lend an ear to his latest offering “Old Growth Fortress”.