Alonestar is the moniker under which talented musician and rapper, Jethro Sheeran, otherwise goes. If you were wondering, yes he is related to Ed Sheeran, but this is not to say that he lives in the shadow of his singer-songwriter cousin. In fact, upon listening to Alonestar's music, you can understand where Ed has found some of his musical inspiration.

'Lovelorn' was also produced with the help of Massive Attack's guitarist Angelo Bruschini and Damon Reece. The track also features the talents of Rosie Ribbons, whose vocals provide a melodic contrast to the darker edge of Alonestar's rapping.

Jethro notes that he 'dug deep to exercise the darkness in this track, and fell into the depths of my soul when coming up with the concept' and this is certainly reflected in the final product of 'Lovelorn'.

Intricate drum beats combine with Jethro's attitude filled, yet poetic lyricism to form a track with a huge amount of feeling beneath it. His sharp, on point style reflects the mood of the song perfectly and then this is cleverly reinforced by Rosie Ribbons' emotive vocals during the chorus. The song was co-written by Ribbons and Jethro labels it as the 'strongest and most powerful song I have written & produced to date'.

Besides the power of the beat that underpins 'Lovelorn', intermittent synthetic string sections add that extra layer of emotion to the track, but the real stars of the show are Ribbons' soaring vocals and Sheeran's calculated lyrics.

Whilst the golden-era of rap may have been and gone, Alonestar seems to be reinventing the genre and making it more accessible for contemporary audiences everywhere.

Listen to 'Lovelorn' here:


The supremely vocally talented Angie has released her latest track, 'Essex Girl (Professional)', which is partly inspired by reality televisions show, The Only Way Is Essex.

Listing the program as one of her guilty pleasures, Angie found unique inspiration from the show and its star, Gemma Collins, from whom the first line of the song is quoted from.

'Essex Girl' is instantly recognisable as a twelve bar blues track with a classic walking bass line that bounces along merrily to Angie's rich rhythm and blues vocals.

Whilst Angie's vocals are the star of the show, what really raises them above is the originality of the lyrics. By combining an older style of music with lyrics of contemporary concern, Angie seems to be succeeding in re-branding classic rhythm and blues as a form of pop music.

Also partly influenced by the Dagenham girls of the 1960s who fought for women's rights, Angie has managed to pen a catchy song that also has a strong message behind it: empowerment for women no matter how they are labelled.

Overall, 'Essex Girl' is a cheeky, foot-tapping, head-bobber of a track that's so infectious you'll be humming it all day long. As well as this, it's refreshing to see an artist reinventing a genre of music that is evidently still loved by many. Angie A is without a doubt a unique artist who you should be keeping an eye on.

You can watch the video for 'Essex Girl (Professional)' here:

And you can find out more on Angie A here:

Manchester based quintet, Mercury, are bringing jazz into the 21st century combining the genre with ambient keys modern drum tracks.

The lead soprano saxophone is a constant reminder that you're listening to a jazz track, but it leads audiences on a sonic-exploratory journey that is not afraid to go a little off piste. It meanders along delicately before sitting aside to let the other instruments take centre stage, as is common with jazz groups.

'Sea Speak' as a name fits the aura of the track perfectly. Gentle waves of keys complement the saxophone, whilst intermittent cymbal crashes make a change from the typical drum brushed beats found on the majority of jazz records.

Not only this, but the articulation of Tom J Thorp's saxophone lets listeners know that he is playing with feeling and energy.

'Sea Speak' makes perfect evening, easy listening music and would even go down well at a classy dinner party, provoking more musical conversation than your run-of-the-mill jazz track. However, 'easy listening' does not mean that 'Sea Speak' is a simple track; there are careful, considered intricacies throughout that even the most expert of music aficionados will find joy in picking out.

Overall, if jazz is your thing then 'Sea Speak' is worth more than a listen just for a new perspective and if it's not, perhaps Mercury's nautical-music voyage will convert you.

Check out more on Mercury here:


English-born, Australian-raised singer, Daisy Hicks, has returned with a new musical direction with her latest single, 'Christmas Without You'.

Her new jazz-infused brand of pop ballads is change from Hicks’ previous work, but is nonetheless a prime example of her talent and versatility.

The star of the show is undeniably Hicks’ vocals. Whilst there is merit in the piano and guitar accompaniment which has a smooth and relaxing feel to it, Daisy’s voice rises above all else and adds sentiment to the honesty of the lyrics.

Speaking of lyrics, ‘Christmas Without You’ evokes feelings of nostalgia, love and heartbreak which seem to paint a truly visual picture, only commending further the quality of Daisy’s vocals.

Whilst most Christmas songs run along the same lines, featuring jingling sleigh bells and overly-enthusiastic jolly songwriting, Daisy Hicks offers something different in this case, creating a new template for festive pop songs. No longer do they have to be centered around snowball fights, Father Christmas and dancing around the tree; they can be emotive love songs, just like any other pop song. Hicks manages to prove that the Christmas period is not just about presents and all of the above, but more importantly, it is about spending time with the people who are closest to you.

Daisy is the daughter of legendary jazz drummer, Tony Hicks, and she is also related to Chris Rea of ‘Driving Home for Christmas’ fame. Consequently, there is no need to go on about Daisy’s inherent talent.

You can find out more on Daisy Hicks here:

Joe O'Donnell's 'Noel Nouvelet' is like nothing you will have heard before. His multi-ethnically influenced version of the french Christmas carol, 'Noel Nouvelet', is a cultural amalgamation of a track that selects musical sounds from all over the world and mixes them together for truly unique sound.

There is a very middle eastern feel to the beginning of the song which meets Indo-Asian sounding vocals, whilst we are reminded that 'Noel Nouvelet' is indeed a Christmas song with the traditional bells finding their place in the background.

'Noel Nouvelet' is certainly a distinctive take on a Christmas carol, forgetting what we have all heard before and bringing something new to the table. Joe O'Donnell is evidently a leading figure in world music, constantly pushing boundaries with his experimental mixing of genres and musical inspiration.

Joe is famed for his 1977 violin led concept album, Gaodhal's Vision, which featured talented guitarist, Rory Gallagher. Also, the 'Shkayla' part of the name is Gaelic for ‘stories’ and you really get the feeling whilst listening to Joe's work that there is much more to it than just an aesthetically pleasing piece of music; even though it is a Christmas carol, you know that there is a story at the heart of the music.

Perhaps this Christmas we should forget about the festive classics and put on Joe O'Donnell instead to dance around the tree!

For more on Joe O'Donnell check out these links:

Aussie singer-songwriter, Ashley Iona, claims that the aim of her music is to inspire and make people feel grounded in their own skin. This target becomes evident upon listening to the honest, humbling lyrics on ‘Thunder Come’.

As a classically trained singer, Iona has a wealth of songwriting experience, but ‘Thunder Come’ goes back to basics as an intriguing ambient-pop track that takes on the best parts of simplistic composition for a pure and natural feel.

Iona’s writing of the song coincided with three days of torrential thunderstorms in LA that provided the inspiration for ‘Thunder Come’. Listening to the song shows just how much something as trivial as a thunder storm can influence the creation of a quality song.

The tension rises through the verse, building up to the stunning crescendo of the chorus that welcomes the wild drum beat, reflecting the downpour on both physical and metaphorical levels: ‘Pour down, let me taste the rain, every drop take every care away’.

The track evokes sentiments of starting over, beginning again and washing over what has come before, and as a result, the song feels like a true plea to the heavens for a fresh start. Also, the combination of the calming first verse with the racing, chaotic chorus is not unlike a number of Florence and the Machine's tracks, Florence being someone Ashley names as one of her primary influences.

Ashley's vocals echo gloriously over the rest of the track and prove that she is remastering a sound that has seemingly been forgotten about in the last few years of popular music.

If this is not enough reason for you to go explore some more of Ashley’s music, she has worked studio as the likes of Sia and Christina Perri, and her music has won her an invitation only spot at BMI headquarters for their songwriter’s round.

For more on Ashley Iona, check out her sites:

New-Zealand-born, London-based film composer Gerald Clark delivers this beautiful three-track EP, singing emotively to the accompaniment of some gorgeous piano.

The tone is melancholy for the first two tracks, turning slightly more upbeat for ‘Gone Away World’. Title track ‘Ibrahim’ sees iconic singer Robert Wyatt providing vocals, whilst also incorporating some smoky horns. The lyrics meanwhile are sombre in tone, exploring the feeling of being caught up between the ‘old world’ to and the new.

Stream the EP here:

The 109s have taken everything good about Zeppelin, Sabbath, Royal Blood, AC/DC, Iron Maiden, MC5, The Stooges, Soundgarden and The Black Keys, and distilled from it a 100-percent-proof moonshine-mash that is all their own - a heady brew that kicks like a mule, burns like a mother, but has everyone asking for seconds.

The lead vocalist Damian Shelley has strong vocals throughout the album accompanied by heavy guitars and drums. A personal favourite track of mine is the opening track 'Cut Me Loose' it is a perfect introduction track for the rest of the album, it's intense and powerful and made me want to listen to more.

Check out 'Cut Me Loose':

The album has been described as 'High octane blues rock - very much my thing. Now I just need to see you do it live sometime'. That was from award winning crime novelist, Ian Rankin, now you may be surprised that a crime novelist is commenting on music, but the band have a strong connection to the crime novelist world, Matty, the lead guitarist is a crime novelist himself, with 3 UK novels under his belt, Scarecrow, Broken Arrow and Werewolf.

Another favourite track of mine is track 10, 'Creeping' it has a heavy intro with guitars, drums, it then goes into the vocals nicely, it's a bit softer than 'Cut Me Loose' but is definitely a track you need to listen to with both headphones in with the volume turned up, or play blasting out of your car.

Check out 'Creeping':

The album is due for release October 7th.

You can hear the full album here:

I must say I agree with Ian Rankin, I just need to see them live now, so if you read this, hurry up and go on tour already.

Interesting new pop band Glitch Code are bringing their new single ‘Glimmer’ which features on their critically acclaimed album Gifted_Damadged to the music scene. The song is a powerful and emotive pop inspired track that has strong nods towards well known artists such as Florence and the Machine.

Watch the unique video and hear the track here:

Lead singer Rachel Harvey has already had much success as a tv actress and has had multiple previous performances in a former band before she found Glitch Code and this track looks set to propel her even further on her musical journey.

The song is a highly emotive and personal track, inspired by Rachel, and the band’s, first hand experiences and feelings gicing the track a relatable edge and adding to the general appeal of the track. The song is an honest musical documentation of hard times which allows the listener to feel like you can connect and know the band on a deeper level!

The song has a techno edge which gives the track a real commercial edge meaning it has the capability of soaring to the top of the charts. I am sure that this new single will only add to the band’s list of achievements.
By now you should be familiar with the name Myles Sanko, having made a name for himself within the industry as a self-made soul prodigy. 'Just Being Me' is also the name of his forthcoming album. The track itself is beautifully executed with Myles delivering to a high standard, as he always does. 'Just Being Me' explores the inner self whilst sonically transcending stylistic borders, with rich instrumentation and Myles soulful voice, the track works perfectly.

He has been described as 'One of the great talents of the vibrant European Soul' by Rolling Stone Magazine, I couldn't agree more, Myles, who is from Cambridge, takes inspiration from soul legends such as Marvin Gaye, Bill Withers and Donny Hathaway, I believe Myles has the potential to receive legendary status within the industry.

Listen to 'Just Being Me' here:

Myles describes the track as “I’ve gone for a classic Jazz production but kept it soulful and seriously groovy. I wanted to capture my musical journey from my youthful Hip-Hop beginnings through to my re-discovery of Soul and now Jazz. I have tried to reflect my current times (world) whilst taking my fans to a new and exciting place”

Myles is also embarking on a 35 date European tour this Autumn , be sure to catch him. Find info on the dates on his Facebook page, give it a like also to get updates on Myles.

The Single 'Just Being Me' is out on September 30th with the album then being released October 28th.
Hailing from New York, Speed Autobahn is a rapper with a fresh club sound that's well worth checking out! His latest album, titled ‘Earth Need For Speed’, sees him rapping over some flashy house beats. The whole album centres around a sci-fi theme that sees Speed being transported to Earth as a being from another planet.

You can stream the album over on Soundcloud:

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