10) Ferris & Sylvester: The Yellow Line
Earlier this year Ferris & Sylvester impressed me greatly with the single Save Yourself. That stunning track was drenched in plenty of folk goodness and had me anticipating the debut EP.
On 23rd June The Yellow Line surfaced and I was incredibly fortunate to preview this tantalising treat at the start of June. This duo are Issy Ferris and Archie Sylvester and they created something magical. This delectable EP was short but sweet, each of the 4 featured tracks were pure perfection.Probably that’s down to the fact I adore the folk/ Americana genres. Issy’s super sweet vocals actually had me picturing Laura Marling and Archie’s flawless harmonies blended perfectly. Save Yourself and Berlin were both given the single treatment in 2017. Then you had Cold Summer and This Is What You Get showcased their impeccable songwriting skills.
FAVOURITE TRACK: On the whole The Yellow Line was a compelling EP with 4 hypnotising tunes which I found to be pleasant on my ear. Both Issy and Archie have written something spellbinding.
Whilst I adored each of the 4 featured songs the one that has the slight edge was BERLIN. This track was an emotional roller coaster as it detailed a heart wrenching break up. What made this tune stand out was the fact those lyrics had me picturing the story within my minds eye.
09) Kylie Odetta: Undertow
Kylie Odetta is a talented songstress who comes all the way from South Carolina. 19th May saw the emergence of the Undertow EP. Comprimising of 6 songs (7 if you include the bonus track Battleground), Undertow was in fact Kylie’s 3rd independently released EP and it’s a right cracker.
This wondrous 7 track mini album/ EP was literally blissful breath of fresh air. Odetta’s stunning vocals were sticky sweet and left me with a massive grin on my face. Her songwriting abilities are literally on another level. I’ve listened to Undertow a number of times and it gets better with every single listen. It’s easy to listen to and Kylie Odetta’s succulent vocals were soothing on the ear. The opening track on Undertow was Sunny Day and this magnificent tune had me picturing taking a stroll on the beach and feeling the sea breeze on your face.
FAVOURITE TRACK: Undertow is a glorious EP consisting of 7 tremendous tracks which captivate me. They each have plus points and it’s hard to pick just one when they’re all phenomenal. Kylie Odetta does have something incredibly special and I look forward to hearing more outstanding originals in 2018. 20th December saw Odetta unveil single Closer and this literally made the hairs on the back of my neck stand on edge.
Anyways my favourite tune from Undertow was YOU DON’T LOVE ME. This track was an emotional soulful ballad, with enchanting lyrics and Kylie’s sultry vocal tones which had me envisioning Charlene Soraia
08) Emma Ballantine: Somebody’s Story
Emma Ballantine is a magnificent singer/ songwriter who’s been independently releasing music since 2012. She was born in Salisbury but she’s now based in London and 31st March saw the unveiling of 3rd EP Somebody’s Story. From listening to this spectacular release I can tell that Ballantine is a tremendous talent who has alot to give.
Well Somebody’s Story featured 4 glorious tunes, 3 of which had the single treatment. I’m a newbie when it comes to Emma Ballantine and this whimsical EP served as the perfect introduction. Somebody’s Story is an enchanting piece of perfection and I could quite easily stick it on a constant loop. This project brought to life true stories from people around the world and the results were extraordinary.
FAVOURITE TRACK: Now I adored all the 4 tunes on this epic EP. The likes of Astronaut, Harmonise and Through Your Eyes were extremely mesmerising. Songs like this tell me she’s a sublime songwriter and her candy coated vocals leave me in an utter trance.
When it comes to picking a favourite the one that is hard hitting is SECRET TUNNEL. This spellbinding cut had the single treatment in 2016 and it’s also the EP opener. Now Emma’s bright and breezy vocals left me in a complete trance whilst those harrowing lyrics detailed an emotional/ distressing court case. Secret Tunnel revolved around a girl who was a victim of child abuse and the case was taken to the Crown Court. They actually used a secret tunnel between the police station and the Crown Court.
07) New Portals: Stereo
Married couple Mike and Ruth Aicken are better known as New Portals. 2017 saw this tantilsing two piece drop not just one, but two impeccable EPs and the most recent being Golden Hour which dropped on 30th October.
Whilst I adored sophomore Golden Hour, I’ll always have a huge fondness for the debut Stereo EP because it was my introduction to New Portals. Actually I was fortunate enough to preview this record a month before the official release date.
After having released a glut of sparkling singles over the past 2 years, 10th March finally saw New Portals unleash debut EP Stereo. This glorious gem actually consisted of 5 fantastic tracks, 3 of which had the single treatment. I found Stereo to be an addictive piece of perfection which oozed plenty of dreamy 80’s synth pop vibes. Opener Stereo was an epic/ hypnotising synth pop jam which Lewis Gardiner (ex Prides) produced. Sunshine was sleek/ chilled out piece of perfection, the upbeat Move It Slow packed a fierce punch, the 80’s sounding Fill Me Up was a dreamy synth pop explosion and Groove Boy was fresh/ funky number which had me picturing Oh Wonder.
FAVOURITE TRACK: Whilst I adored each of the 5 shimmering originals on this EP my favourite track had to be FILL ME UP. Ruth’s vocals were a breath of fresh air, the lyrics were contagious and that gorgeous melody uplifted my spirits.
06) Kat Saul: Vision
3rd November saw Kat Saul unveil the short but sweet Vision EP. This exquisite 5 track release serves as Saul’s sophomore. She actually made her debut in 2014 with the 7 track Dangerous EP which she self produced. Now Saul is a talented independent singer/ songwriter who comes all the way from Nashville, Tennessee. I first came across her this July after being hooked on the single Body Language.
2017 has seen me listen to ALOT of new artists from outside of the United Kingdom. I’ve been recommended independent/ rising artists/ bands who I wouldn’t have been familiar with if it wasn’t for this blog. Aside from that I adored Vision, Kat Saul clearly has a talent for songwriting and it’s always nice to listen to independent artists who are doing something they love. The tunes were a wondrous concoction of pop meets R&B which resulted in something extremely entrancing. Kat’s glorious vocal tones were super sassy and at the same time they left me picturing Lorde.
FAVOURITE TRACK: To cut the story short each one of these originals has me anticipating either a debut Kat Saul LP or a sophomore EP. She really is a gifted individual and each original is an addictive slice of perfection. Saul wrote opener 21 Days in a bathroom tub at 3AM and this sumptuous song revolved around a breakup, the steady paced Early was extremely impeccable and there was a smokiness to Kat’s vocal tones and then you have the spellbinding Body Language which oozed plenty of chilled out vibes.
Whilst the fresh and funky Cooler Than Hell had me completely hooked my favourite tune from this EP had to be PINATA hands down. This tantalising tune was a rollercoaster ride radiating plenty of Spanish flare at the same time. I adored the straight to the point lyrics and just as Kat says every party needs a piñata.