Three Cheers for Cholesterol Jones!

As we tremble in the corner of the pub, waiting for the inevitable nuclear apocalypse, it’s comforting to know that some brave souls are picking up their guitars and setting them to stun.

Splitting his time between the US and London, Cholesterol Jones is both an animator and a musician, using these skills to set the brains of  sensible members of society whirring into thoughts of action, and the dumber elements a slap around the ears. Satan’s in Heaven, the lead track of a forthcoming EP of the same name, is a case in point: tricky to pigeon-hole musically (a bit country; a bit singer-songwriter; a bit gospel; a bit TV advert jingle), it uses the cleverness of the lyrics and outstanding animated video to convey a message which, although easy to understand, is in no way condescending or preachy to its audience.

Impressively, the song sticks in your head for days: the simplicity makes you realise exactly how hard many artists try to cram as much into three minutes as possible, yet by stripping away the flotsam and jetsam, the true genius can ring out. There’s a nagging feeling we should have been following Cholesterol way before we heard Satan’s in Heaven, but, as they say, it’s never too late. But what beverage to celebrate this discovery? We reckon something unassuming but deadly, so what better than the green fairy herself? Chin-Chin!

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Julia Mascetti – When Meads Must

As the nights draw in and the opportunities for settling back in the rocking chair with a glass in one hand and the gramophone needle in the other grow, we’re finding ourselves more inclined towards the soothing storytelling, as opposed to the death metal we occasionally happen upon.

Praise due then for Julia Mascetti, a harpist in the Joanna Newsom mould but with the added strings attached, if you like, of being a Brit abroad – in Tokyo, no less. As well as being a prolific blogger, she has grown an audience of local music fans who have been attracted like moths to an open fridge to her shadowy indie folk world of longing and warnings, combining her harp prowess with local musicians playing Japanese instruments. It’s a combination which is both creepy and invigorating and with a sudden thirst for mead. That’s why it says mead in the title. Here’s a picture of some mead, some places to find Julia and a video. Chin-chin.

Links:

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/juliamascetti

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliamascetti

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuliaMascetti

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/juliamascetti

Website: https://tokyoharp.blog

In Review: Albino’s ‘Belinda’

It’s at times like these you realise how forgiving you’ve been of singles which have come through for review. Why did I find it acceptable that a 6 minute track which had no discernible melody, rhythm, focus or point of interest was worthy of a carefully thought out appraisal? Albino have nailed exactly what a single should be: their new track ‘Belinda’ is catchy, fresh, yet at the same time redolent of some classic bands you’d forgotten you were madly in love with; but at the same time leaving you clawing at your ears that it only lasts for 2 and a bit minutes.

There’s the well told story from Paul McCartney about the creation of ‘Yesterday’ wherby having written down the song, he convinced himself for the following month that all he had in fact done was to plagiarise an already existing wunder-hit. I almost have the same feeling here: ‘Belinda’ sounds naggingly familiar, yet having listened to it a few more times, I’m confident it is a completely original modern classic.

Yes, there are obvious reference points- the kaleidoscopically drooling organ sound is immediately all things The Doors/The Animals/Brian Auger; the structure is the gutter-garage-blues of The Beasts of Bourbon and early Nick Cave. Although Albino are London based, more specifically, London pub-based, their beer mat agenda is being fully understood by both band and audience alike. This as much tomorrow’s sound as yesterday’s – the hangover comes for free.

What Drink?

Considering the band’s claim that they more or less run on whiskey, it’s got to be a fine single malt. Or simply anything alcoholic…

‘Shredded Jeans’ by Mark L. Oakes

‘Shredded Jeans’ is one of the latest singles from Belgian singer-songwriter Mark L. Oakes’ new album, Call Me The Moon. The record is a must listen for lovers of folk and americana who enjoy that classic throwback sound.

This isn’t to say that Oakes’ music is dated by any means; he has adopted an older sound akin to the likes of Neil Young and Van Morrison, but adapted and fine-tuned it through quality production to create a more modern version of music from this genre.

Mark states Neil Young as one of his main influences and the pair actually share a very similar vocal tone that’s both warm and emotive. As well as Young, Oakes looks up to the likes of Tucker Zimmerman, Ryan Adams and Tom Petty for musical inspiration.

‘Shredded Jeans’ is a beautifully piano-led track that builds from gentle chords and humming-organs to a chorus that really gives you goosebumps, in the best way possible – it must be the powerful combination of Mark’s voice and the screaming harmonica.

Mark himself has labelled Call Me The Moon the ideal soundtrack for a ‘karmic road trip’ and listening to the music immediately explains why. There is a very cinematic quality to his sound that would be easy to pair up with the visuals of a classic road trip film. The emotion is so strong, particularly in tracks like ‘Shredded Jeans’ and ‘Aloof Again’, that Mark’s music might just make you smile, or even cry.

The album was recorded at Mark’s home studio in the Ardennes with the help of cellist, Ben Trigg, and was mastered by Grammy award winner, Gavin Lurssen. Mark is a keen traveller, often voyaging between Europe and the US with a number of musical projects, but he believes that Call Me The Moon is a ‘silver thread out of the vague existential maze’.

What Drink?

The relaxing and easy-listening vibes at play within Mark’s music call for a quality single-malt with which you can begin to contemplate the ‘vague existential maze’ that is life.

Find out more on Mark L Oakes here:

https://soundcloud.com/mark-l-oakes

https://www.facebook.com/oakesmusic

https://twitter.com/markloakesmusic

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8pq-OE8Cknqw4FwMdfhMLA

www.oakesmusic.com