Quick plays: BEN ABRAHAM, DEATH BY UNGA BUNGA, TALISCO

BEN ABRAHAM – Sirens Secretly Canadian [Release date 04.03.16]

Despite the record label name, Ben Abraham hails from Australia where this, his debut album, was released last year. It is now getting a full UK release and I can see this being a hit, especially given the current popularity of folk pop. That label may sound a tad dismissive for this album as Ben Abraham creates atmospheric, almost cinematic, soundscapes that draw the listener in on first listen and then hook you back for repeated listens.

‘This Is On Me’, which has Sara Bareilles guesting on it, starts quietly before we get a magical harmony vocals arrangement featuring the both of them. ‘Songbird’ is a simple melody that works so well with Ben Abraham’s vocal. Just a couple of highlights on an album that contains many.

His wonderfully tuneful and smooth voice, coupled with some memorable melodies, make for an assured debut. ***1/2

Review by Jason Ritchie

DEATH BY UNGA BUNGA – Pineapple Pizza [Released 04.03.16]

Listening to the Shadows like guitar on instrumental opener ‘Dollar Slice’, you may mistakenly think this is some surf/rock ‘n’ roll album. It is only by the second song, ‘I Can’t Believe That We Are Together’, that this Norwegian band reveal their true musical colours…Cheap Trick jamming with a garage rock band! Mind you ‘Best Friends’ has a chorus that reminded me of Ginger Wildheart, maybe less riff heavy though and loving the spacey keyboards.

The PR sheet name checks the Ramones, which can be heard on ‘Strangers From The Sky’, but the two bands they most remind me of are the aforementioned Cheap Trick and the Cars in their early 80′s New Wave era.

Fun album and the band are meant to be worth seeing live, which based on this album sees them added to my list of bands to see if I get the chance! ***

Review by Jason Ritchie

TALISCO Run

A Parisian songwriter who experiments in electro / folk, Talisco will already be subconsciously familiar to many – his debut album Run, featuring ‘Your Wish’ – a track used by Google, HBO Europe, Vice US, Vodaphone Ireland and AT&T, and The Keys by Toyota for a US TV campaign.

In fact, Run was originally released in 2014, and a brief February UK tour aside, it’s unclear why it’s being given a fresh push in 2016.

While at first blush he may come across as a Moby style character, and you might think the Ibiza beach party style techno beats are the result of synth wizardly, Jérôme Amandi aka Talisco has more strokes to his brush, twisting the sounds of a Fender Telecaster through compressors and old pre-amps, to create his sonic canvases.

On those he paints musical soundtracks ranging from techno, through pop, folk and rock that, at their most commercial (‘Run’ and ‘In Love’), bear similarities – with Talisco’s androgynous vocals – to Florence And The Machine and 90′s band Horse.

With catchy melodies and a broad range of styles – from the world music vibe of ‘The Keys’, to the gentle Joseph Arthur / Ryan Adams style acoustic delivery of ‘So Old’, Run is a diverse offering.  It should be fascinating to see how he brings it to life in a live environment.  ***

Review by Pete Whalley


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Pete Feenstra celebrated his 300th show in October 2019. Pete heads up a five-hour blues rock marathon when “Tuesday is Bluesday” from 19:00 GMT. Listen out also for his interview-based Feature show on Sundays (20:00 GMT)

Power Plays w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

MILES NIELSEN AND THE RUSTED HEARTS Hands Up (indie)
THE FARGO RAILROAD COMPANY Something In The Water (indie)
THE DARK ELEMENT If I Had A Heart (Frontiers)
LIBERTY LIES A Thousand People (indie)
DIRTY SHIRLEY Here Comes The King (Frontiers)
CARRY THE CROWN Runaway (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 11 November (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 WORK OF ART Exhibits (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SIGN X Like A Fire (Pride & Joy Music)
14:00-16:00 JACK BROADBENT Moonshine Blue (Creature Records)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)



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