Foxy Shazam single/video Oh Lord, new album and free mp3

Foxy Shazam - UK debut album and single

The inimitable American sextet Foxy Shazam have announced the international release of their self titled album on Sire Records for October 11th.

The album, Foxy Shazam marks the Cincinnati bands major label debut and is produced by John Feldman. The band will release the lead single, their first in the UK, Oh Lord on September 27th.

Foxy Shazam gave UK fans a glimpse of their fantastic live show at the Reading and Leeds Music Festival this summer as well as three London shows, including support for Lost Prophets and Motion City Soundtrack. They were support for Hole on an earlier trip to the UK this year.

Citing influences as varied as Marvin Gaye, Queen, The Stooges, Elton John and “Born To Run”-era Bruce Springsteen, Foxy Shazam have been creating unique, genre-defying music since they formed in 2004.  From the anthemic “Unstoppable” to doo wop power ballad “Bye Bye Symphony” , the swooning “Connect Me,” and Rob Cavallo produced, Justin Hawkins featuring “Count Me Out”,  Foxy Shazam is an amalgam of blues, soul, and brash pop bound by a no holds barred punk-rock aesthetic.

Foxy Shazam – Oh Lord


Ahead of the single and album release Foxy Shazam are giving away a free download of the track Wanna-Be Angel, listen and download from this link.


For further information visit the Foxy Shazam website.

Summer Series 2010 Concerts @ Somerset House

This summer London’s favourite outdoor music series is back with 11 nights of open-air music concerts in the heart of London. The Summer Series see live shows take place in the open air courtyard of Somerset House, off The Strand.

In 2009’s the series line up included the wonderful Grace Jones, The Ting Tings, Pendulum and Athlete.  This year two all time great soul acts will join contemporary pop music favourites for another one of a kind series of London concerts.

Between Thursday 8th and Sunday 18th July performances by contemporary artists like Florence & the Machine, The Temper Trap and N-Dubz will sit alongside one-off shows from soul legends Soul II Soul and Gil Scott Heron.

Soul II Soul were formed in the late 1980’s by Jazzie B and are best remembered for their UK chart hit Back to Life (However Do You Want Me).  Before their chart success as a soul group they were know in London as a ‘sound system’ playing records at parties.

Gil Scott Heron has been recording records since the early 1970’s.  His music has been described as soul, jazz, funk and proto-rap; and he has been called “the godfather of rap” and the “black Bob Dylan”.  His political views often drive his songs including classic tracks like The Revolution Will Not Be Televised, The Bottle, Winter In America and Johannesburg.  The most bizarre fact relating to Gil Scott-Heron that I know is that in November 2009 BBC tv’s current affairs programme, Newsnight interviewed Gil Scott-Heron for a feature titled ‘The Legendary Godfather of Rap Returns‘.

The Summer Series concert tickets for Soul II Soul and Gil Scott Heron have already sold out though tickets are still available for other nights.

Summer Series Concerts @ Somerset House

Thursday 8th July
Mystery Jets

Friday 9th July

Saturday 10th July
Noah & the Whale

Sunday 11th July

Monday 12th July
The Temper Trap

Tuesday 13th July
The XX

Wednesday 14th July
Gil Scott-Heron

Thursday 15th July
Florence & the Machine

Friday 16th July
Corinne Bailey Rae

Saturday 17th July
The Divine Comedy (solo show)

Sunday 18th July
Soul II Soul

Summer Series at Somerset House Tickets

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Sophie Delila – to release debut album ‘Hooked’ on May 31st

sophie delila
sophie delila

Sophie Delila is a name that I have only just heard of but it is a name that many including myself will be very familiar with over the coming months of 2010.

Delila comes with plenty of pedigree, the multi talented Parisian bred singer was born into a family of musical aficionados. Her father, himself an accomplished piano player, once had Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye round for dinner while Sophie was still a baby.

With blues, jazz and classical music filling the family home in her childhood days, Sophie also discovered The Beatles and Stevie Wonder and was soon writing music and lyrics of her own.

At 18 she won a scholarship to the revered Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts and after graduating she hit the New York City soul scene for a couple of years before moving to London in 2005 to take her career to the next level. Lured by London’s explosive music scene, Delila wrote, gigged and produced and in 2008 she landed a record deal with Universal.

While writing material for her first album Delila also worked on collaborations with other artists. In 2009 she recorded and toured Europe with the band Nouvelle Vague and in the same year she opened the show for one of her childhood heroes, Lionel Ritchie at the Bercy Stadium.

Most recently she has been singing live with Plan B on Radio 1Xtra’s Live Lounge and the Shepherd’s Bush Empire.

Now Delila is ready to unleash herself on the UK with the release of her highly anticipated album Hooked, which is released on 31st May.

The album was co-written and co-produced with Sophie by Steve Booker, the man behind much of Duffy’s multi million selling album. In addition, an array of leading musicians and producers have collaborated on the record.

Here is a video taster of what to expect from Sophie Delila:


Sophie will be performing on the Liberty Music Stage at the Carnaby Street Festival on June 5th, which will be followed by UK festival appearances through the summer, including Rockness.

For further information visit Sophie Delila on My Space.

Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement – album review

Mayer Hawthorne – A Strange Arrangement – album review

(Stones Throw)

Mayer Hawthorne - A Strange Arrangement

Mayer Hawthorne grew up in Michigan, near Detroit, a city he describes as rich in music tradition and high on the list of influences in his choice of a musical career.

A Strange Arrangement is his debut album released last year without ever really making the commercial splash it should have.  Certainly it is only recently that I was turned on to him after a quick look on YouTube at the video for the fantastic single from A Strange Arrangement, ‘Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out’, a piece of jazzy soul, to which Mayer Hawthorne adds a spoken introduction something in the vein of The Chi-Lites, and to the rest, a falsetto to rival Cry Me A River in its ability to tangle the heart strings with ambiguous gender imitation.

In fact, a lot of Mayer Hawthorne sounds like The Chi-Lites, and with such a consciously retro sound, it almost sounds like a pastiche, but, as is often the case with these things, it is clearly an indisputable love of the music that is being mimicked and that is driving these songs, and it is therefore really quite hard to tell the line between irony and reality.

At other times, you find Mayer Hawthorne using other genres – r&b, Motown, pop – in the way you always imagined them ideally, but had never quite heard. He does it with such simplicity, honesty and an ear for a well-produced song that it is near impossible not to love what he is doing in a manner much deeply than irony alone would allow.

These, then, are absolutely brilliant contemporary tunes that would be compared with the Winehouses of the world if his subjects didn’t require singing plainly and truthfully about the sort of candidly simple subjects soul singers used to sing about – beautiful girls, pathetically fallacious rain, or plain simple positive thinking.

Out on the label, Stones Throw, A Strange Arrangement joins an output of some great contemporary soul. Apparently, label chief Peanut Butter Wolf needed just a cursory listen to two songs to realise he had to sign Mayer Hawthorne up.

Here’s the video for ‘Just Ain’t Gonna Work Out’. See what I mean about the ambiguity between irony and passion for the music?


Here is the MySpace link for Mayer Hawthorne.

Stay Too Long the excellent single & video from Plan B

plan b aka ben drew
plan b aka ben drew

The excellent new single form Plan B, aka as Londoner Ben Drew, will be released on January 11th 2010 and has already featured as Record Of The Week for Radio One’s Zane Lowe and is currently Fearne Cotton‘s Record Of The Week on the same radio station.

Coming on the back of the 26 year olds fantastic top ten hit with Chase & StatusEnd Credits, and his appearance in the acclaimed British thriller Harry Brown, Drew is about to take the music industry by storm.

Stay Too Long is a ferocious collision of retro soul, funk, rock and rap, that surprisingly works on every level, erupting into a massive cacophony of wonderful noise.

Produced by Paul Epworth, the studio genius behind Florence and the Machine, The Big Pink and Friendly Fires the single serves as a spectacular taster of what to expect from Plan B’s monster new album The Defamation of Strickland Banks.

To further add weight to its sheer monstrous potential, Stay Too Long has been put through the mill by bass troublers Pendulum – their first remix in three years – resulting in one of the biggest sounding tracks you’re likely to encounter for some time.

Plan B – Stay Too Long


Check out the incredible Pendulum remix here.

Stay Too Long by Plan B is released on January 11th 2010 on 679/Atlantic Records as a CD, 12″ or digital download.

For more information visit the Plan B MySpace page.