Review: Green Man Festival 2015 – ‘A musical melting pot opening doors to a universal corridor of song’

Green Man 1 - Main pic

Published on AfterDark (27 Aug 2015)

AfterDark’s Dean Hodge gives his verdict on this year’s Green Man Festival (with photography from Gareth Bull).

For many, Green Man Festival is a highlight of the festival calendar, and ones which offers the best of both worlds – blending major artists with the more obscure gems of the music world, and evolving into a major platform while still maintaining a maverick, essentially ‘indie’ core. In short, it very much has a festival ‘feel’ without the festival ‘stress’.

With the exception of a few, many of the artists in this year’s line-up I am only just discovering for the first time and some I have instantly become enamoured with. There is such a diversity of music to select from, and as if that isn’t enough, there is plenty of locally sourced food, ales, and other festivities to keep your tastebuds, as well as earbuds, occupied. As myself and photographer Gareth Bull arrive on the site on a drizzly Thursday night, the welcoming vibe that greets us instantly offsets the dread of camping out in a damp field in the Welsh mountains for three days. Continue reading

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Review: Some Kind Of Leader ‘The Flake’ – The band test the musical waters once more with a propulsive acid-tinged hook’

 Some Kind Of Leader 1

Published on AfterDark (18 Aug 2015)

AfterDark’s Dean Hodge reviews the new single by Some Kind Of Leader.

Tracklisting: The Flake/My Lord/Two Pair (feat. Cara Elise)

Following the technicolour indie rock of their debut album Dog Club released last year, Cardiff rock revivalists Some Kind Of Leader make a welcome return with newest single The Flake (released on Broken Yoke Records).

Produced by Cian Ciarán (of Super Furry Animals and Zefur Wolves fame) at Strangetown Studios in Cardiff, The Flake sees the band testing the musical waters once more with a propulsive acid-tinged hook anchored in late 80’s jangly guitar-pop and the early 90’s indie-rave scene. The track opens on a surging riff which glides along a spiral of hypnotic techno-adorned synths plucked straight from the heydays of the Hacienda. The influence of Mr Ciarán from the other side of the production board seeps through here, with his leftfield approach adding a further dosage of 90’s dust to the track. Continue reading

Review: Danielle Lewis ‘Dreams Grow’ EP – ‘The perfect remedy for a cold Welsh summer’

Published on AfterDark (11 Aug 2015)

Featured on Danielle Lewis‘ official website (18 Aug 2015)

AfterDark’s Dean Hodge reviews the new EP by Welsh folk-pop singer-songwriter Danielle Lewis.

EP Cover

Tracklisting: Dreams Grow/I’ll Wait/Dawnsio At Eich Galon/Love Live Life/Aros

It can’t really be disputed that Wales isn’t particularly noted for its glorious summer weather, yet it still somehow manages to produce music infused with such warmth and so infectiously uplifting that it can’t fail to move even the stoniest of hearts.

One artist who is testament to that is 22-year old acoustic folk-pop singer-songwriter Danielle Lewis (published with Charlotte Church’s Publishing House and Sync Company Bounce Publishing), whose debut EP Paper Hearts introduced us to her inescapably upbeat folk sound and beguiling voice. It’s worth noting that while originally hailing from New Quay in West Wales, the young songstress spent eight months living and writing in the golden sands of Australia, which has perhaps served as a muse for the summery undercurrent that resonates through her songwriting.

It’s a formula that works well for her, and her second EP Dreams Grow does little to deviate from it. This is undoubtedly a good thing as Dreams Grow bristles with luminous melodies and stirring vocals that sound as if they are sung from the high heavens, none more so than on the opening title track. With its playful ukelele hook and impeccable harmonies, the vibe of the track couldn’t be any happier even if it inhaled laughing gas. Continue reading