022 – Back to the real world…

Posted: October 8, 2011 in Uncategorized

It’s been over a month since I finished the Sacre Noir mini live tour and I’ve found it very difficult to re-adjust and get back into the swing of life in the ‘real world’. No longer living out of a (very) large bag, feasting on fine foreign food & travelling from city to city, it has been a genuine struggle to muster up enough enthusiasm to do anything really.
On returning to my lovely Edinburgh pad at the start of September, I realised that I have so many “things” (that’s what comes of living out of a suitcase for a few weeks) and set about getting rid of some of them…including a bunch of vinyl & magazines. This led to a few weeks of pleasurable memories and cringe-worthy moments whist sorting the great from the not-so great records. However, I have also found time to discover a few acts that are new to me, and I’ve decided I really love them all.

So first up, in the first blog back after a month away I’m happy to tell you all about Keaton Henson. He first came to the attention of the music loving public at the start of 2010, and recently his hard work is starting to pay off, receiving Radio 1 airplay for his track ‘You don’t know how lucky you are” – listen @
http://soundcloud.com/partisanpr/keaton-henson-you-dont-know
I first heard this track on the radio when I was sitting on a busy bus heading home after a really hard day and it almost brought me to tears. The second time I heard it I was walking down a really dark alley (King’s Stables Road) and it seemed as though he was singing it just to me. I thought perhaps I was a little prejudiced with the track and seemed to have formed an emotional attachment to it, so decided to check out the video and some live versions. The video is so simple and so great…it really hammers home the lyrics and universally understood themes, and now I love it more.
At times the vocal delivery has reminded me of Darwin Deez, Ed Sheeran and also Chris Carrabba (Dashboard Confessional), so this guy gets my vote. He seems like a very private and humble fellow and there is not a lot of hype (yet) but you can find out more information at his rather cool website: http://keatonhenson.com/

The next two tracks are somewhat related and I love that about music…everything comes around and it’s really a very small world.
The first of these tracks comes from London based singer/songwriter Delilah, who recent featured on the Chase & Status single “Time”. The song I’m so excited about is the title track from her EP ‘Go’. It features the verse melody & lyrics from the classic Chaka Khan track ‘Ain’t No Body” but Delilah brings her own modern twist to the song. She’s only 20 years old but has managed to deliver a great soulful and dark sound with this track, whilst still keeping it fresh and original. She has recently recorded at the fabulous RAK Studios in London & you can check out the session @

With it’s simple synth pattern, light ticky drums and the amazing melodic twists, I can help felling a little bit jealous that I hadn’t though of this first. I love the understated delivery of the RAK Session from all the musicians and can’t wait to hear & see more from this bright young thing!

Next up is Shadowboxer and their cover version of “Time” by Chase & Status… spot the connection. You can watch @

This version was recorded during a live session in Surrey University. The first thing I think is “how amazing does Surrey Uni look? and what great facilities” then the track starts and I’m completely absorbed by Hayley’s vocals and the beautifully delicate keyboard sound. As the track goes on the musical parts build with the addition of backing vocals, acoustic & electric guitar, cello, bass, piano & drums. The dynamic composition alongside this beautiful arrangement really brings a new light to a really simple track that I know & love because of it’s d’n’b vibe and unique and stylish drumming style of Andy Gangadeen (formerly of Massive Attack & Faithless). The band is the brainchild of Hayley Martin & Aidan O’Brien and last year they released the ‘Two Cities’EP
“…is very much a DIY job, written, arranged and produced at home, and recorded on a budget which essentially comes down to the price of a few train tickets to get musicians where they needed to be.”
I love the band and their EP and really look forward to what else they have in store for us. They are very generous & are giving away lots of stuff for free. You can download this version of “Time” from http://tinyurl.com/timedownload
And you can also download their debut EP for free from the website at http://www.shadowboxer.co.uk

In the last month or so I’ve also been getting much more into DJing and have a few other tracks for you to check out which are definitely going onto my playlist.
The new DJ Shadow album ‘The Less You Know, The Better’ was released this week (3/10/11). It’s a weird mix of tracks (all genius of course) but the one that stands out to me most is “Come On Riding (Through The Cosmos)” – check it out here.
And finally another new vocalist I’ll be keeping a close eye in is Ayah Marar who recently featured on the Yogi track “Follow Me” – listen here

So back to normal with a new blog every week featuring the best tracks I’m listening too or discovering…at least until the end of November when Sacre Noir hits the road again, this time heading back to London & Paris but also making our debut in Berlin (so excited).

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