Blogging??? It must be MONDAY! Alright, it’s technically going to be Tuesday before this is up but I haven’t been to bed yet and it’s my blog so I make the rules… Which is actually why we’re running late…
This week I decided I was going to write about Megan Henwood as I only first heard (and met) her recently, but it turns out that she’s won a bunch of awards and has the support of a label, so I had to rule her out. Sorry Megan, independent artists only (she’s still really good though). So, here’s a (literal) eleventh hour replacement blog.
You can see the thought process behind all of this here, but every Monday I’m going to highlight an independent artist who I think deserves a bit of promotion and some of your valuable time. Hopefully I’ll make them sound interesting enough that you’ll click the link and show them some support or share their work with your own social network of choice.
The pseudonym of singer/songwriter Louise Eatock and her backing band, Flaming June have been self-funding a series of EPs on their own label since 1999 which is pretty much the definition of what we’re looking for on this blog. Based around the now familiar modern folk format of acoustic guitar, bass, drums and violin, they describe themselves as “indie folk” but across their releases thus far there are tinges of acoustic punk, straight pop, rockabilly and folk of various flavours. There are strong choruses to be joined in with and some really infectious earworms to be found; Nerves Of Steel, Dopamine Oxytocin, and the haunting piano riff from Heal Me, Believe Me spring to mind. But there’s also a smart, fiercely confrontational and independent spirit behind the songwriting, unafraid to write frankly and openly about abusive relationships (I Know What It’s Like), the representation of female characters in fairytales (Freedom’s Fairytale For Girls) and also find time to mock the hypocrisy of the oblivious (The Insane Ex-Girlfriend Parade). I mean, where else would you find an album title like Rumpelstiltskin & The Perils and Promises of Womanhood? It won’t be for everyone, but if folk with strong melodies and complex, sometimes challenging, themes is your thing then you should click the links.
Links, glorious links! – Flaming June have an official site, and are pretty active on Facebook.You can listen to and purchase their music at their Bandcamp site. You can also get them on Amazon/iTunes, but Bandcamp pays more money direct to the artist so please check it out.
Essential Album – It has to be In Pursuit Of Happiness. The step up in musicianship, arrangement, production quality, and the maturity and polish of the songwriting in the two years between the previous release and In Pursuit Of Happiness is striking. It retains the bitter emotional bite of the earlier work wrapped in more accessible and, for me, enjoyable music.
Essential Track – This was actually a tricky call between a couple on the album mentioned above, with an honourable mention to the hilarious The Insane Ex-Girlfriend Parade from Nerves of Steel. But, I am going for moody, violin/drum driven romance tale of The Sailor Boy. Brilliantly evocative.
What do you think of the artists I’ve featured so far? Do you have a favourite independent artist that you think I should listen to? Drop a note in the comments and let me know, I don’t promise to use them all but I do promise I’ll listen to every single one of them! See you next week…