Funke and The Two Tone Baby – “Battles” album

One-man-band Daniel Turnbull, aka Funke and The Two Tone Baby, is a Blues/Americana musician that you won’t be able to help smile and jig along to.

There’s a lot of Blues out there, but Daniel has managed to craft a strong and charismatic sound that is so full of energy that you can’t help but listen. Using harmonicas, beat boxing, slide guitars and some guest vocals, the sound is rich, vibrant, and everything you’d expect from modern blues. The album is nicely paced, with songs like “Ode To The Pirate Ghost Witch” delivering slow, but powerful swells similar to Goldfrapp’s recent song “Annabel”, “The Woman Who Stood At The Edge Of The World” providing a surprising Jazz’y element, and in-your-face Americana songs like “Bella’s Kiss” and “Mountains” delivering the fun and the energy. His voice, too, is excellent, sounding both gruff and gentle when needed. The opening track, “Bella’s Kiss” is the highlight of the album for me.

Daniel is touring a vast number of dates between now and the end of September, including some local festivals, and a couple of dates in the Netherlands.

https://www.facebook.com/funkeandthetwotonebaby

(If you like this, listen to Yeti Love)

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Darlia – “Candyman” EP

Darlia are a threepiece from Blackpool that are hot on the lips of a lot of people at the moment; not only for their support slot at the upcoming Libertines reunion, but also for their brilliant, modern take on guitar-led grunge.

Comparisons to Nirvana are thrown around a lot these days, but for once, here is a band that quite possibly deserves it. Instantly you notice that his voice has a gritty power to it that is remarkably Cobain-esque in its sound, and with guitars and rhythm that are equally as skilful and charismatic, Darlia have quite the formula going for them. The band have a discernibly ‘British’ feel to their music – especially “Animal Kingdom” which resembles a number of Oasis songs – and so comparing them to a bit of Britpop isn’t a push at all. It’s an interesting combination, but it works.

The band have exploded into fame recently; receiving support from NME and the Buzz Man himself: Zane Lowe, as well as a slot at the upcoming Great Escape Festival and 2000 Trees Festival. Alongside rock duo Royal Blood, who they themselves are making quite a climb up the music ladder at the moment, there is a pleasant number of rock bands out there who are doing great things for the genre.

Go get ‘em lads.

https://www.facebook.com/DarliaOnline

Nightbox – “The Panic Sequence” EP

Nightbox are a five piece electronic/pop band from Toronto, Canada, who dip their toes into the cool shallows of glitchy, atmospheric electronica, only to then take a step back, and bask in the warmth of fun, upbeat pop.

As I was listening to ‘Burning’ for the first time (the most listened to song off their latest EP “The Panic Sequence”), I was preparing myself for “that 6 Music Sound”, ie abstract beats and synths, with wistful, airy vocals over the top (I exaggerate a bit of course). But no. In fact, what I heard in the chorus borders on disco to my ears, and it works surprisingly – no, amazingly well. The vocals are front and centre, the drums are driving, and the sheer simplicity of is, frankly, beautiful.

This is also the case for most of the songs off their EP, which draw you in with deep electronic layering and processed effects, and spit you out the other end into catchy pop melodies. The title track is the quickest to jump into things, but it is the journey of songs like ‘Burning’ that makes its chorus feel so rewarding. I love it.

The artwork deserves a mention as well – very nicely done.

The band are currently gigging to support their EP, including a stint in the UK in early May.

https://www.facebook.com/nightboxband