ALBUM: Lost Chimes – ‘Lost Chimes’

Lost Chimes is Gemma and Nicky Kirk, an indie-folk duo from north London. The husband and wife team have now joined musical forces after ten years of playing in separate DIY, folk, punk-rock and post-hardcore bands.

Their new captivating self-titled album blends traditional folk with a contemporary twist. The storytelling lyrics, delicate finger-picked guitar and memorable melodies keep your ears enticed from the first track to the last. 

Opening track, and first single, ‘Island’ is a soothing track about a mystery island. Gemma’s smooth, crystal clear vocals gently bob over lush and jangly guitar lines like a boat upon the waves, with the second verse painting a beautifully nostalgic picture: “You’ll do a lot of talking and I’ll do a lot of listening and one day the records will come out of their sleeves / the one that has my name on the back and the one that has the secret track, and everything between the backdoor and the sea wall…” The accompanying video of overlaid singing, sea, and birds perfectly complements the musical content, which evokes thoughts of nature and water.

My personal album highlight, ‘Voices’, offers a traditional folk-inspired melody, encompassing a fiddle which weaves around the vocal lines with a waltz-like rhythm. The sparse yet present drum beat gets your foot tapping and gives it a sea shanty feel. Gemma’s vocals may be delicate, yet they emit a strength bringing to mind Pentangle’s Jacqui McShee.

‘Stone Steps’ offers Nicky’s most interesting guitar riff on the album, a melancholic yet hopeful refrain. Gemma’s lullaby vocals in the verses erupt into something more powerful and reminiscent of Delores O’Riordan’s vocal in the chorus. Later on in the song, a spoken word section is introduced, giving your ears a new element to enjoy.

The duo’s cover of Joy Division’s iconic song ‘Love Will Tear Us Apart’ is both atmospheric and haunting. The finger-style of the guitar combined with the cinematic vocal arrangement does this tricky-to-cover song justice, retaining its sadness and depth whilst adding Lost Chimes’ own spin.

Ella Patenall
@nazandellamusic

WATCH: Ali Comerford – ‘Knots’

Kilkenny-based Ali Comerford has recently shared ‘Knots’, a beautifully understated meditation on anxiety. It’s the title track of her upcoming folk-based and classically inspired debut album.

‘Knots’ is poignant in its simplicity, with stunning raw vocals accompanied by tender piano arpeggios. Such barebones instrumentation creates space and allows us really to focus on the vocals and what Ali has to say; there are no distractions. The music is intimate, as though Ali were sat in the room playing just for you, providing comfort and reassurance that you are not alone. Of the track, Ali explains:

“‘Knots’ is a song I wrote about anxiety, something we all struggle with at one time or another. At the time, I was going through a stage of intense anxiety. I worried about the fact that I hadn’t released any music, about whether people would enjoy my songs or not and also over-analyzed every little thing I had ever done wrong. I wasn’t sleeping properly and found I was lying awake at night replaying old conversations and feeling ashamed and embarrassed.”

In the chorus, she sings: “Because I worry like no other / It’s always one thing or another”. It paints a bold picture of how we can all feel when our minds are full of anxious thoughts, whirring like an overworked machine. “It keeps me awake and it makes me wonder / If I am alone in this” – these final lines show how lonely it can feel in times of anxiety, but with Ali’s generous self-expression and relatable content, we can feel it together.

Ali Comerford has impressive musical credits, having toured the world, performing classical viola on stages such as the New York Carnegie Hall, the London Royal Albert Hall and Dublin’s National Concert Hall. Her years of experience in the classical music world have evidently been extremely valuable, teaching her to make every note count, as is showcased in this poignant latest solo offering.

Watch the lyric video for ‘Knots’ here:

Knots, the debut album from Ali Comerford, is set for release on 29th July.

Jazmine Kelly
@surfjaz

Photo Credit: Shane Hatton Photography

LISTEN: In Earnest – ‘Put Me Under’

A tentative, gentle “stock take” of the mind; alt-indie trio In Earnest have shared their latest single, ‘Put Me Under’. The track is inspired by the struggles vocalist Sarah has experienced with her mental health, and acts as an encouraging nod for others to open up about their own issues.

Based in Southend-On-Sea, In Earnest formed in early 2019 after band members Sarah and Thomas left their previous outfit, Carousel. Together with new addition Toby, the trio began to focus on writing poignant tracks based on personal experiences, and recorded in an “organic” setting – captured live without click tracks or autotune. ‘Put Me Under’ is the first example of this, and is lifted from their upcoming EP.

Sarah extrapolates on the context of the new single, which is written from her perspective: “I suffer from chronic anxiety and depression, to the point where I can’t hold down jobs or be left alone for too long. In my loneliness I am awash with negative thoughts. The song is about feeling overcome by an invisible illness, but knowing it’s a lot easier to cope in the company of a dog.”

Sarah’s soft voice and confessional lyrics are paired beautifully with Thomas & Toby’s acoustic and electric guitar parts, allowing the trio to gently explore an intimate, and difficult issue. Listen to ‘Put Me Under’ below, and follow In Earnest on Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Naz & Ella – ‘Freedom’

Inspired by the experience of Rahaf Mohammed – a young Saudi Arabian woman who fled an abusive family and oppressive regime with the hope of making it to Australia – Naz & Ella have shared their latest single. ‘Freedom’. Through tentative guitar picking and a clear lyrical narrative, the duo have created an understated, empowering tune.

“Freedom is a luxury” sing Naz & Ella, something that Rahaf Mohammed must know only too well. After fleeing her Saudi home, she was stopped in Thailand and almost deported back (where she would likely be incarcerated), before she was eventually granted asylum in Canada. Naz & Ella use their music to tell Rahaf’s inspirational story, communicating her feelings of desperation and relief along the way.

Listen to ‘Freedom’ below, and follow Naz & Ella on bandcamp and visit their website for more updates.

The duo have also recorded a podcast to accompany the single, which you can listen to here:

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut