Festival coverage, including that from SXSW 2017 and BIGSOUND 2017, can be read through here.

SXSW 2017 | 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Live at Leeds 2016 | 2015 | 2014
Sound City 2016 | 2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | Great Escape 2015 | 2013 | 2012

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Single Review: Jessie Ware – Midnight

 
By on Thursday, 10th August 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Since the release of her critically acclaimed ‘Tough Love’ album 3 years ago, Jessie Ware has tied the knot to her childhood sweetheart and started a family with the birth of a baby girl. Yet she still found the time to record songs for film soundtracks (including those of Fifty Shades of Grey and Me Before You) and feature on tracks with Chance The Rapper, Nicki Minaj and The Invisible. Not to mention her appearance on the Mercury Prize judging panel and to write her upcoming third studio album. Phew!

In an interview with The Fader, the London singer/songwriter described her currently untitled record as “quite personal”, adding that the album represents the “ups and downs, the fear, the beauty and the celebrations” of the last 3 years. This personal side of Jessie Ware is clearly demonstrated in ‘Midnight’, the first single to be taken from the album.

Midnight is a haunting r&b track in which Ware reflects on the relationship with her husband and the difficulties and challenges they face through troublesome times. Clocking in at just over 3 minutes, the track opens with an enigmatic vibe with discrete hooks, before bursting into Jessie Ware’s signature sound that we have come to know and love, intertwining a pulsating drum beat with light piano melodies.

Ware described Midnight as the song she’s “always wanted to be able to sing but perhaps didn’t have the confidence until now”. There’s certainly no denying that this is a bold track. “Maybe I love you, maybe I want to, maybe I need you,” she sings with a sense of desperation in her voice, reaching the dizzying heights of her vocal range to a level that the singer hasn’t previously exhibited. This is a solid comeback single that should tide fans over until the release of the album.

8/10

‘Midnight’ is the first single to be taken from Jessie Ware’s currently untitled third album, which is expected to be released on PMR later this year. To read all of TGTF’s past coverage on the artist, follow this link.

 

Single Review: JoAnna Lee – The Real Thing

 
By on Tuesday, 8th August 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Prior to the release of her debut single, JoAnna Lee had already built up an ever-growing fan base for her edgy acoustic based pop, rock and soul hybrid vibe. However, her recognition has been a long time coming. The singer/songwriter was brought up in Oregon, where she developed a passion for music at an early age from her grandparents JoAnne Riddle and Janpa.

Lee continued to pursue her musical career 20 years later when she moved to Austin in Texas, where her talent caught the attention of multi-platinum selling producer (Brandy Carlile, Megafauna) and The Wind and the Wave‘s Dwight Baker. However, her big break came when Les Cutmore asked her to perform in the opening slot for Deep Purple at the Dubai International Music Festival. Shortly after, JoAnna Lee signed to Cutmore Records. “Having these experiences and people who helped build and show me life through music is why I have such a passion for it,” JoAnna Lee explained. “It is one of the core elements that ties all of us together in this world, and in this life.”

Fast forward to 2017, and JoAnna Lee has unveiled her debut single ‘The Real Thing’. The track, which she wrote in her current home of Austin, is centred around the self-confessed hopeless romantic falling for a boy who walked into a local bar. She says, “I couldn’t take my eyes off him. I got his name and number, and we had fun. That’s all I’m going to say about that!” The catchy single is the perfect accompaniment to the summer weather and brilliantly showcases the singer’s soulful, dusky voice. However, you can’t help but feel the singer is holding back and that her true potential has yet to be unlocked. Needless to say, JoAnna Lee is certainly an artist to keep an eye on.

7/10

JoAnna Lee’s single ‘The Real Thing’ is out now on Cutmore Records. It’s the first single to be taken from her debut album ‘So Free’, which follows on the 22nd of September. Editor Mary Chang contributed to this article.

 

Interview: Anthony Touma

 
By on Monday, 7th August 2017 at 11:00 am
 

At just 7 years old, Anthony Touma told his mother he wanted to be a music artist when he grew up. “She told me I’d grow out of it when I’m older,” he explained. “I never did.” The Lebanese-French singer/songwriter’s big break came in 2013, when he appeared on the second season of The Voice France. “I sent a video online not expecting an answer. I was living in Lebanon and the show was being produced and filmed in Paris. I got a call a month later, and I took the first plane to Paris to audition.”

Touma reached the semifinals of the show, which was ultimately won by Yoann Fréget. Despite not winning, Touma was grateful for the opportunity: “The show changed my life. That’s how most people who know me today were introduced to my voice. I had no idea how mentally and physically challenging such a show is. It was an experience full of ups and downs, but I would say that in general, it was a life changing experience.” Touma’s appearance on The Voice France opened many doors for the singer/songwriter, including a collaboration with Enrique Iglesias on the French remix of ‘Let Me Be Your Lover’.

“Since Enrique and I were signed to the same record label back then but in different territories, my name was suggested during Enrique’s search for the right artist to collaborate with,” Touma explained. “I wrote some new French lyrics to the track and composed an additional bridge to replace the rapping part that was initially there, sung by Pitbull. Enrique and his team liked what I did. The next thing I know, we’re in Miami recording the track!” He added, “Enrique is one of the most genuinely nice people I’ve met, and he made the whole thing feel very simple and enjoyable. Collaborating with Enrique was a childhood dream come true, to be honest.”

Fast-forward to 2017, and the 25-year-old has made his international debut with the release of ‘Walk Away’, a pop/r&b track that combines Touma’s soulful voice with touching lyrics. Speaking about his latest single, Touma said, “This track is one of the tracks that speaks to me most. It tells my story and it just makes me feel good when I listen to it. On my journey to where I am today, I had a lot of people not believing in me. As time went by and as I moved forward and improved, these same people started noticing my success and came back to me acting friendly, supportive and showing ‘fake love’ as Drake would say. They inspired me to write this song.” He added, “I felt a lot of people would relate, it also reminded me of relationships where your ex who left you suddenly gains interest again because you’ve ‘gotten prettier’ or more successful, etc.”

The single is the first to be taken from Touma’s upcoming album, which will be the first the singer/songwriter has recorded in English. “I’ll be releasing lots of new songs and, hopefully, I’ll be taking it to as many places around the world as possible.” Anthony Touma’s single ‘Walk Away’ is out now on Universal Music MENA.

 

Single Review: Chess Galea (feat. Harry Morley) – Rise

 
By on Monday, 15th May 2017 at 12:00 pm
 

Following the release of her debut album last year, Chess Galea has unveiled her latest single, ‘Rise’, a heart-breaking fusion of soul and pop. In case you aren’t familiar with the name, Galea (real name Francesca Galea) grew up in Malta, where she fell in love with pop music before going to study at the Academy of Contemporary Music in London, whose famous alumni include Ed Sheeran and Newton Faulkner. Since graduating from ACM, the singer/songwriter, who cites Michael Jackson, Lady Gaga and Madonna as influences, has single-handedly managed to gain radio airplay in Australia, Malta and the UK. Galea was also nominated for Best Solo Artist at the Malta Music Awards.

To date, Galea has released two EPs, ‘Babygirl’ and ‘Tuxedo’, both of which were the result of two successful Kickstarter campaigns. These were closely followed by her debut album ‘1869’, an eclectic mix of feel-good pop, soulful r&b and stunning ballads. This latest track, ‘Rise’, is a plea to a former partner, who used to be her shoulder to cry on. However, since their break-up, Galea has struggled to shake off her feelings for her ex and the fear he has found love again with someone else: “So how can I keep going strong, when I’m too scared you’ll move on?” Galea sings. You can feel her dismay, as the words evoke vivid memories of past relationships and heartbreaks. But there’s also a sense of optimism too: “Things never turned out to luck, so I’ll make some luck of my own”.

Not only does ‘Rise’ showcase Chess Galea’s ability to write deep, meaningful lyrics, but it also demonstrates her melodic, soulful vocal range, perfectly complementing Harry Morley’s tinkling piano and organ chords.

7/10

Chess Galea’s single ‘Rise’ is out now. Learn more about this young singer/songwriter on her official Web site.

 

Live Review: Craig David at Newcastle Metro Radio Arena – 29th March 2017

 
By on Friday, 7th April 2017 at 2:00 pm
 

Following a 6-year absence from the music scene, Craig David made a surprise guest appearance during Kurupt FM’s ‘60 Minutes Live’ takeover on BBC Radio 1Xtra, where he performed his debut single ‘Fill Me In’ remixed with Skrillex and Diplo (ft. Justin Bieber), ‘Where Are Ü Now’. The track, which later became known “16”, went viral, gathering hundreds and thousands of views across social media and catapulting the Southampton-born singer/rapper back into the spotlight.

Fast forward 18 months, and Craig David is walking out on stage at the Newcastle Metro Radio Arena, the ninth date on his ‘Following My Intuition’ tour. Dressed in all-white tracksuit, David emerged from the back of the stage, bursting into the tropical vibes of “Ain’t Giving Up” and the r&b stylings of “What’s Your Flava?”

The setlist on the night included EDM/garage tracks from Craig David’s chart-topping album ‘Following My Intuition’, such as ‘Louder Than Words’, ‘Change My Love’ and ‘Nothing Like This’, as well as the pop/garage tracks from which Craig David first became a household name, including ‘Walking Away’ and ‘Don’t Love You No More (I’m Sorry)’.

Throughout the show, Craig David gave heartfelt thank yous to the reaction from the thousands that had turned out to see him in Newcastle. As his backing band broke out into the sound of ‘Rise & Fall’, David explained, “When I wrote this song back then, I didn’t realise I was predicting my future. I hit a low and it was the hardest time of my life, but here I am. Thank you.”

As the first half of the show came to its conclusion with a cover of Justin Bieber’s ‘Love Yourself’ and a rendition of ‘7 Days’, Craig David promised to “turn this place into a rave”, returning to the stage a few minutes later with his TS5-branded DJ equipment. And he certainly delivered.

The sheer energy in the building was on another level, with the onlookers singing and dancing to every track in the DJ set, which contained a mix of old-school garage tracks (including Sweet Female Attitude’s ‘Flowers’) and remixes of recent chart hits such as Drake’s ‘One Dance’ and Tinie Tempah’s ‘Girls Like’. David also incorporated some of his own tracks into the DJ set, inviting his support act Big Narstie onstage for their single ‘When The Bassline Drops’. Wrapping things up full circle, he invited his band back onto the stage to bring the proceedings to a close

It’s a testimony to Craig David’s capabilities as an artist to see two generations of families coming together to enjoy the show.

 

Film/Album Review: One More Time With Feeling / Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds – Skeleton Tree

 
By on Friday, 16th September 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

One More Time With Feeling is the heartbreaking tale of how Nick Cave turned the grief surrounding the tragic death of his 15-year-old son Arthur into ‘Skeleton Tree’, Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds’ latest album. The documentary, which was screened in select cinemas across the world last Thursday, the 9th of September, features interviews with Cave, as well as footage of him recording his new album at Air Studios in London, where his creativity has been inspired by his son’s passing.

Director Andrew Dominik, renowned for The Assassination of Jesse James, builds stunning visuals around Cave’s disembodied sound of the new record, combining 3D imagery with stark black-and-white imagery. Cave also provides a retrospective voiceover, which is brilliantly edited to fit around the conversations he is having in real time as presented in the film.

Nick Cave documentary shot

As One More Time With Feeling progresses, fashion designer Susie Bick, Cave’s wife, becomes more of a prominent figure in the documentary. In one of the film’s most touching scenes, she shows off Arthur’s painting of a local windmill, while Cave sits by her side, deep in his thoughts. It quickly becomes evident that the couple channelled the pain of their tragic loss to help drive themselves and their careers forward. Bick, a successful fashion designer, got “lost” in designing a new line to channel what positive energy she could muster through her sorrow.

The result of this is ‘Skeleton Tree’, the sixteenth studio album from Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds. Cave addresses the tragic passing of his son as early as the first line on the record: “You fell from the sky, crash landed in a field near the River Adur”. He also recalls his own preconceptions of death: “I used to think that when you died you kind of wandered the world, in a slumber ‘til you crumbled were absorbed into the earth. I don’t think that anymore”.

Each of the eight tracks on the album are held together by Cave’s grief-filled, spoken word style of lyrics, which stand out through a combination of his profound voice and the overpowering bass and low tones. He sounds defeated. He sounds like a man on the verge of tears. It gives the listener a sense of Nick Cave’s emotional state and how he is coping with any parent’s worst nightmare.

One More Time With Feeling and ‘Skeleton Tree brilliantly go hand-in-hand to give an insight into how Nick Cave and his wife dealt with the passing of his son. Whilst you don’t need to see the documentary to understand the trauma Cave went through, the album’s powerful sentiment will provide you exactly the idea of how difficult it was for him to make.

9/10

Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds’ ‘Skeleton Tree’ newest album is out now on Bad Seed Ltd. Editor of TGTF Mary Chang contributed to this feature.

 
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About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF is edited by Mary Chang, who is based in Washington, DC. She is joined by writers in England, America and Ireland. It began as a UK music blog by Phil Singer in 2005.

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