Picks Of The Week 14

This past week I’ve been on much more of a mellow vibe. I’ve found my playlist inhabited predominately by gentle rock tracks, something that I attribute to my rekindled interest in Ben Owen. However, this is a little bit of a heavier track included this week too – because I’d feel like I was letting you all down if I offered a list of musicians who all played softer music!
Without further ado, here are my picks of the week.

1. Suddenly I Feel Alive – Ben Owen

Image courtesy of the band's facebook page.
Genre: Acoustic

Ben Owen is an acoustic musician from Stone that produces heartfelt and soulful songs that deserve a listen off the strength of their lyrical content alone. But ‘Suddenly I Feel Alive‘, from his debut EP ‘This Is My Life‘, is a song that also showcases Owen’s musical abilities wonderfully. Splendidly simple instrumentation, executed well and with just the right amount of subtle embellishments, proves a powerful combination with Owen’s raw-yet-tender vocals and heartfelt lyrics. It’s been in my playlist and my head all week. Give it a chance and it’ll be stuck with you too.

You can listen to the track here.

2. Christopher St – Jake Flowers

Image courtesy of the band's facebook page.
Genre: Folk-Rock

Jake Flowers, sometimes known as Oaken Lee, is a folk-rock musician from the midlands. In a manner befitting the song I’m reviewing, I’ll cut to the chase. ‘Christopher St’ is a folk-rock song that, for most of its duration, is quite minimalistic and is driven primarily by Flowers’ vocals. As the song builds with Flowers’ telling of the story, it eventually culminates in a folk-rock crescendo complete with full instrumentation and even a bit of accordion. It’s worth a listen, if not just for the novelty of a modern-day accordion track.

You can listen to the track here.

3. Leaf – Cave Painting

Image courtesy of the band's facebook page.
Genre: Shoegaze; Indie

Nothing beats a bit of shoegaze indie, and few do it as well as Cave Painting. With vocals reminiscent of Chris Martin of Coldplay but with a hint of Alex Trimble of Two Door Cinema Club, the band’s sound is very ethereal and relaxing while also having energy. Sounds paradoxical? You’re telling me. I myself fail to wrap my head around how it works, but it does. I highly recommend checking them out, and few tracks showcase their sound better than ‘Leaf‘ off their debut album ‘Votive Life‘.

You can listen to the track here.

4. Mary Jayne – Dakota Beats

Image courtesy of the band's facebook page.
Genre: Indie; Alternative

Dakota Beats serve us a big indie feelgood love-esque song tinged with social commentary with ‘Mary Jayne’. Crystal clear guitars and singalong vocals make up the bridge of this song and make for a fan favourite. And with just enough alternative-rock crunch to make it stand out in a sea of throwaway indie tracks, it’s worth checking out.

You can listen to the track here.

5. Tales From A Shallow Grave – My Great Affliction

Image courtesy of the band's facebook.
Genre: Rock ‘N’ Roll; Alternative; Metal

My Great Affliction know how to knock out some vintage sounding rock ‘n’ roll tunes and they know how to deliver them with ballbusting vocal prowess. Combine that sound with blistering guitars and a driving bass line and you have ‘Tales From A Shallow Grave’. Everything you’d expect from a midlands-based rock ‘n’ roll act, really.

You can listen to the track here.

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