Music Mondays #1 – James PM Phillips

So, what happens when you announce you’ll be doing a weekly blog? You immediately catch a virus that knocks you on your arse for a couple of weeks meaning you totally fail to post, silly! Apologies for that. In order to get back on track for being ill recently, and to make this inaugural post a bit special, today I’ll be posting two entries to catch us up.

As detailed in my original post on the topic, every Monday I’m going to highlight an independent artist that I think deserves a bit of promotion and internet love. There will be a bit of blurb on each artist, links to where you can find them online, and my picks for an essential album and single track that you should check out even if you try nothing else. 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. Let’s start with…

James PM Phillips

Full disclosure, I’ve known James for many years. Does this make me biased? Maybe, but I’ve never worked on any of his music and I’m not on commission so I think I’m safe. That said, James makes fantastic and intelligent folk music which is worth your time. An accomplished multi-instrumentalist and a great singer, for me his ability to tell wonderful, evocative stories through his music really elevates it. Songs like She Said, Four Years, and Mary paint compelling, and often incomplete, portraits of melancholy characters that resist the urge to give too much information, leaving it up to the listener to fill in the blanks. These contrast with the heartfelt first-person narratives of tracks like Ring Of Flowers or Give Me Wings, but which are no less poetic in their execution. Fans of unusual guitar tunings and poetic lyrics would do well to give James a listen.

In addition to all of this, James dedicates an enormous amount of time and energy to giving opportunities and exposure to other independent and young acts through running various gig nights and open mic nights. People like this keep independent music alive and kicking, and that helps to make him exactly the sort of person that deserves to be opening this blog.

Links, glorious links! – James is on Facebook, and you can listen to and purchase his work at his Bandcamp site.

Essential Album Tea And Hangovers. This EP has best production quality, some of my favourite writing and I think James knocked the vocals on this album out of the park.

Essential Track – I have huge soft spots for Love You and Give Me Wings, but if you can only check out one track, I would recommend Ring Of Flowers.


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 promise I’ll listen to every single one of them.


1 Comment

  1. Thank you for this review of James P M Phillips’ music and his activities to promote local live music. As one of the many recipients of his tireless promotional work I can testify to his enthusiasm, efficiency and organisational skills.A lovely man and an all round good egg!!
    My favourite tracks of his are his wonderful “Sheep on the downs” and “Four Years” but when you see him live you never know if you’re going to get a German drinking song, a French dance number, or his short but snappy ” I am happy” mixed in with his many original numbers!
    Currently gigging with accompaniment from the excellent Simon Erridge he’s a man to look out for and to go to see in the North Wales area.

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