Jah Wobble + Julie Campbell = Fun & Debauchery For ALL!

Jah Wobble & Julie Campbell are two UK artists that have come together to release an excellent album called “Psychic Life”, due for release in November.

I was a big fan of Julie’s solo project, Lonelady, and her album “Nerve Up” just barely missed being named one of my Top 25 Albums of the Year in 2010. Jah Wobble has been in the music industry since before I was even born and is most well known for being the original bassist in Public Image Ltd (or PiL), which also features Sex Pistol, John Lydon.

Last week I was listening to Lonelady’s “Nerve Up” album, which blends elements of new wave, synthpop, punk and more into 10 high-energy songs that always get me bouncing around my room. I decided to check out the Lonelady fan page on Facebook for the latest news on Julie’s whereabouts and soon stumbled upon a new music video called “Tightrope” as part of a collaboration with Jah Wobble. “Tightrope” is the kind of song I can imagine being spun at a party in someone’s dark basement in Brooklyn at 4am while boys sloppily make out and dance with one another. Translation? I fucking love the fuck out of it and I’ve been addicted ever since.

I reached out to Jah and Julie’s lovely publicist, Dorothy (press@dorothyhowe.co.uk), who was kind enough to send me a press kit full of songs that will be included on “Psychic Life”. And let me tell you that they are every bit as fun as I expected!

Give me a disco beat, a sick Jah Wobble bassline and Julie’s low sexy vocals anytime!

Check out “Tightrope” below.

*Jah Wobble & Julie Campbell’s debut album “Psychic Life” hits stores 14 November, but you can pick up the Psychic Life EP on 10 October via Cherry Red Records.



Jah Wobble & Julie Campbell “Tightrope”

Rachael Yamagata: One Of My Favorite Songwriters Readies Album #3

Rachael Yamagata is one of the best songwriters of her generation; with a feminine husky voice and lyrics so beautiful, I have been left rendered in fetal position on more than one occasion.

I’ve been a fan of Rachael’s ever since stumbling upon her perfect debut EP during a late night Tower Records run almost 10 years ago. Since then, she’s been in and out of favor with major labels (RCA, Warner Bros) and released two criminally underappreciated albums, 2004’s Happenstance and 2008’s (heartbreaking) Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart.

Her last album took me on one of the biggest emotional rollercoasters that an album has ever taken me on. The lyrics on Elephants…Teeth Sinking Into Heart were incredibly gut wrenching and really dug into me during a time when my own post-breakup emotions were raw and undealt with. Honestly I don’t know how I could’ve made it through that period in my life were it not for the words of both Rachael Yamagata and Kristina Train.

However, while I loved that album, I was still very happy to hear that Rachel had reunited with Happenstance-producer, John Alagia, for her forthcoming 3rd album, Chesapeake, mostly because I loved the more upbeat feel of that record.

The first single off “Chesapeake” is entitled “Even If I Don’t” and is (yet again) jam-packed full of lyrics I can relate to, such as:

I miss you most in the morning
Most every morning
I wake up thinking
I could call
I could come visit
I could come running
We could relive it

Thankfully, Rachael’s gone back to masking her longing lyrics with upbeat piano driven pop similar to many of the songs on Happenstance. Love the song, love the cute video, watch it below.

*Rachael Yamagata’s 3rd album “Chesapeake” is out 11 October via Frankenfish Records.






Rachael Yamagata “Even If I Don’t”

Wild Flag: Re-kindling My ‘Romance’ With Rock Music

Wild Flag’s self-titled debut album features their new single “Romance” and has me excited about rocknroll again. The band is comprised of former members from some of my favorite bands, including Carrie Brownstein and Janet Weiss from Sleater-Kinney; Mary Timony from Helium; and Rebecca Cole from The Minders.

I’ve spent the last few years (largely) out of the loop when it comes to rock. The last I’d heard about Carrie Brownstein, she was starring on that cute show Portlandia; so I had no idea that she, Mary Timony, Janet Weiss and Rebecca Cole were planning on forming a supergroup of sorts with Wild Flag.

Interestingly, out of all the bands and artists that I’ve been able to turn my friends onto, I was never able to convince anyone of Sleater-Kinney’s brilliance. Carrie’s voice is a bit of an acquired taste that I (thankfully) acquired very early on and never looked back. I was never able to see SK live, but to this day they remain one of my favorite bands of all-time.

Helium were a band that released 2 critically-acclaimed albums in the 90s and won me over after catching their video for “Pat’s Trick” on 120 Minutes back in the day. While different than Brownstein’s, Mary Timony’s low droney voice is an acquired taste as well (and also one that I acquired and fell in love with early on).

The reason why I really think that many of you will dig Wild Flag’s debut comes down to the songwriting. Lyrically, the material is nowhere near as political and heavy as some of Sleater-Kinney’s best songs and musically the album is less complicated than anything these four legends have created in the past. Wild Flag succeeds despite these facts for two reasons: Fun and maturity. There’s a poppy element to these songs and you get the sense that this time around these ladies are making music simply for the joy of doing so; allowing them to effortlessly create an album full of hooks and witty lyrics.

Check out the video for lead single “Romance” below.

*Wild Flags self-titled debut album is out now via Merge Records.





Wild Flag “Romance”

Scarlett’s Roses just might make you miss Sublime..a bit.

Today’s Artist Of The Day is a London-based band named Scarlett’s Roses, who have single-handedly accomplished the unfathomable by making me miss the whole 90s post-ska movement and bands like Sublime..just a bit.

The band is comprised of 3 singers and 3 musicians; with siblings, Ryan and Scarlett Rose, and rapper, Ollie, taking care of vocal duties, and Daniel, Thomas and Jameson handling guitars, drums and bass, respectively. I’ve heard a few of their songs and I’ve got to say that it’s been a while since I heard a band with male/female vocals and a rapper fit as seamlessly together as Scarlett’s Roses do.

Scarlett Rose’s vocals are the perfect ying to Ryan’s yang; while Ollie always chimes in perfectly with his raps in a way that recalls many of the ska-lternative (<–I think I just made that up) bands of the mid-90s.

BUT, but but……..my favorite part of the band comes in the form of Scarlett Rose’s brother, Ryan. His smooth voice is not only the stuff that lead singers and superstars are made of, but specifically brings back fond-memories-that-I-never-knew-I-had of bands such as Ben Harper, Incubus, Sublime and even 311.

PS: If Ryan has a girlfriend, I hope he sings to her every day because I’ll be damned if that voice wouldn’t make just about anyone jump in the sac with him. Well, that and the fact that he looks like he could be the extremely gorgeous model-hot younger brother of Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Third Eye Blind’s Stephen Jenkins. But I digress..

Bottom line: These guys are going places, so get on the bandwagon before everyone else does. And remember, you heard it here first!

Check out the videos for “Nightmares” and “Hands” below.

*Scarlett’s Roses music will be available for purchase soon and I will keep you posted!






Scarlett’s Roses “Nightmares”


Scarlett’s Roses “Hands”

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